Warner Bros. Discovery will target cable TV staffers in its next round of layoffs, an individual with knowledge confirmed to TheWrap.
The layoffs, which are anticipated to kick off this summer, are expected to impact the cable news division, which is headed up by U.S. Networks Chairman and Chief Content Officer Kathleen Finch and includes Discovery-branded cable networks. Cable networks operated by Warner Bros. Discovery include Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Animal Planet, former Scripps networks Food Network and HGTV, as well as Turner-branded networks such as TNT, TBS and truTV.
The news comes just one day before the media conglomerate launches its new streaming service, titled Max, which will combine the libraries of HBO Max and Discovery+ as a part of the continued Warner Bros. Discovery merger.
The streaming service will offer three pricing options to consumers: a $9.99 per month Max Ad Lite tier, a $15.99 per month Max Ad Free tier and a $19.99 Ultimate Ad Free tier, while continuing to offer a standalone version of the lower-cost Discovery+.
Ahead of the launch, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said during the company’s May earning call that the company expects its streaming business in the U.S. to reach profitability in 2023, which marked a switch up from previous guidance that anticipated the company would hit the milestone a year later.
“The key here is our streaming business is no longer a bleeder,” Zaslav said during the earnings call. “It’s hard to run a business when you have a big bleeder. And so getting this business under control, focusing on what people love to watch, how do we create content that people love? And now as we launch Max, we’ll be able to nourish and delight subscribers with the greatness of HBO, which on Sunday nights is really a cultural moment, whether it’s ‘White Lotus,’ ‘House of the Dragon,’ ‘The Last of Us,’ ‘Succession,’ and then put it together with Discovery content which has been really strong for us.”
Warner Bros. Discovery are among the major entertainment giants undergoing layoffs, including Disney, which had tallied 4,000 cuts by the end of April. Disney sectors impacted by layoffs include Freeform, ABC, Disney Television Studios, Disney’s metaverse division, which was shuttered, and Marvel Entertainment, which was folded into Disney, among others.
Deadline first reported the news.