Turner’s widespread layoffs continue this week as HBO will lay off 150 employees, insiders with knowledge of the plan confirmed to TheWrap.
The job cuts represent 7 percent of the premium channel’s approximately 2,400 staffers.
In an internal memo obtained by TheWrap, CEO Richard Plepler informed staff of the imminent changes:
“We have a long history of tightly managing our overhead so that we’re able to maximize investment in the creation, distribution and marketing of content. We also shift resources when necessary toward areas with the greatest potential to drive revenue growth and to enhance our brand. We reviewed 2015 budgets and staffing plans with this in mind and reduced cost and redundancy wherever possible to preserve our ability to invest in our future. This will unfortunately include the elimination of some positions. Where relevant, your department head will share details with you in the weeks ahead. I understand that the news of staff reductions is unsettling. Rest assured that we will manage this difficult process with the fairness and respect you would expect from our company.”
The HBO layoffs are part of Turner’s 10% across-the-board cuts happening throughout the company. The premium channel recently announced it will offer a stand-alone streaming service next year for non-subscribers. “All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them,” Plepfler said at an investors meeting. “This will be transformative for our company.”
“A hallmark of our long-sustained success has been the commitment to making very difficult decisions even during times of growth and optimism,” Plepfler added in the memo to staff. “As I said at today’s event, this is the most exciting inflection point, domestically and internationally, in the modern history of HBO. It’s fair to say that by any metric: subscriber growth, content deals, the ever-extending reach of our brand or industry buzz; we are at the top of our game – and as I also made clear, we are just getting started. All of this is possible for one simple reason, the talented people that make up this company.
The cuts at HBO come on the heels of widespread layoffs at CNN and HLN two weeks ago. Around 150 staffers were laid off in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Cuts included senior executives and producers, including Northeast Bureau Chief Darius Walker and “New Day” Executive Producer Matt Frucci. Five shows were also canceled: “Crossfire,” “Unguarded” with Rachel Nichols, “Sanjay Gupta MD,” “CNN Money” with Christine Romans, and “Jane Velez-Mitchell.”