WarnerMedia is expected to enact a new round of layoffs amid the AT&T-owned company’s ongoing restructuring.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, the company is looking to cut costs by as much as 20% and lay off thousands in the coming weeks.
That would follow the hundreds of layoffs made in early August that saw Warner Bros. and HBO hardest hit.
“Like the rest of the entertainment industry, we have not been immune to the significant impact of the pandemic,” said WarnerMedia in a statement shared with Variety. “That includes an acceleration in shifting consumer behavior, especially in the way content is being viewed. We shared with our employees recently that the organization will be restructured to respond to those changes and prioritize growth opportunities, with an emphasis on direct-to-consumer. We are in the midst of that process and it will involve increased investments in priority areas and, unfortunately, reductions in others.”
The move comes under the leadership of new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who stepped into the top spot in the spring. Since then, a wave of executive changes have been made, including the ouster of HBO Max’s Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly, the merging of the company’s production operations, the positioning of Warner Bros. chief Ann Sarnoff to oversee all content for the HBO Max streaming service as well as basic cablers TNT, TBS and truTV. Hulu co-founder Kilar also put former Hulu colleague Andy Forssell in charge of business operations at HBO Max, and added HBO Max and the Turner networks to HBO programming chief Casey Bloys’ purview.
It is not yet clear which divisions may be impacted by the pending personnel reductions, but Kilar had told Variety in August that no further major changes were likely at Warner Bros. following the internal reshuffling in August.