DC Universe, DC Comics Hit With Layoffs as WarnerMedia Reorganizes

Streaming service behind “Titans” and “Doom Patrol” launched in 2018

Last Updated: August 11, 2020 @ 6:43 AM

DC Universe was among the divisions hit by significant layoffs amid WarnerMedia’s restructuring efforts.

WarnerMedia representatives declined to comment but, according to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, the majority of the staff at the 2-year-old streaming service has been let go as the company shifts its focus to the recently launched HBO Max. The future of the platform remains unclear.

Also affected by the layoffs are staff at WarnerMedia-owned DC Comics. An individual with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap that employees at various levels of the company have been let go, though Jim Lee remains Chief Creative Officer at the venerable comic book publisher.

Questions about the fate of DC Universe have surrounded the platform since the debut of HBO Max in May. Several of the original programs at the streamer have recently begun migrating elsewhere, including “Stargirl” and “Swamp Thing,” which have been shuffled to The CW, as well as “Doom Patrol” and “Harley Quinn,” which are also being made available on HBO Max.

Executives at WarnerMedia have previously said DC Universe and HBO Max would coexist, but Monday’s layoffs follow a deep restructuring under new CEO Jason Kilar that saw both WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt and content chief Kevin Reilly exit the company.

The restructuring unified the company’s studio, television and premium cable divisions and rolled all content creation into one operation, while also creating a separate focus on HBO Max as the forefront of the company’s business strategy.

Personnel cuts spanned multiple film and TV units, with Warner Bros. and HBO particularly impacted, and are expected to continue throughout the next few days.

Kilar told¬†TheWrap Friday¬†that layoffs were coming. “We have two international organizations today that are going to become one. In that situation, the natural decision that needs to be made that says, ‘OK, you’re not going to have two people doing the same thing.’ You have to make the tough choice to decide who is going to be the leader in a certain area. Obviously, I had to do that, and I did that with content in terms of Ann Sarnoff. These are not easy decisions, these are not performance-oriented decisions. And those will happen and you should expect to see [more] reductions.”