In the latest move to come out of WarnerMedia’s seismic restructuring that began last week, Warner Horizon will merge its scripted operations with Warner Bros. Television.
Both units have operated inside the Warner Bros. TV Group, which will continue to be led by Peter Roth. Warner Horizon focused exclusively on the cable and streaming marketplace, whereas Warner Bros. Television serviced those two, as well as broadcast. The new merged Warner Bros. Television will be led by presidents Susan Rovner and Brett Paul.
Mike Darnell, president of Warner Bros. unscripted and alternative division, will continue to lead Warner Horizon’s unscripted unit, along with Telepictures and Shed Media. While the three will continue to operate independently, physical production, business affairs and finance for all unscripted programming will now be consolidated in a new organizational structure servicing all three labels.
Warner Bros. TV drama development chief Clancy Collins-White will now have oversight of all scripted program development for the new Warner Bros. Television, reporting to Rovner. Warner Horizon’s Leigh London Redman will head up drama development.
Adrienne Turner will continue to run comedy development and will oversee the comedy team. Odetta Watkins, executive vice president, current programming, premium cable and on-demand/streaming series; and Maddy Horne, executive vice president, current programming, network series, will continue in their respective roles and will continue to manage all creative aspects of on-going scripted series.
Continuing in their current positions at Warner Bros. Television and overseeing newly combined teams are Adam Glick, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs; Sue Palladino, Executive Vice President, Production; and Jody Zucker, Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs.
Brooke Karzen will continue to run development and programming for Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. David McGuire will continue to lead current programming and will add responsibilities for overseeing development at Telepictures.
The latest moves come as part of WarnerMedia’s company-wide cuts, which began early Monday. The overall cuts were across multiple film and TV units, with Warner Bros. and HBO particularly impacted, though it is not immediately clear how many staffers were laid off. The cuts are expected to continue throughout the next few days.
Among the layoffs were three senior executives at Warner Bros.: Jeff Schlesinger, Kim Williams and Ron Sanders. Williams was CFO, while Schlesinger and Sanders were both distribution heads. Sanders led worldwide distribution for theaters and home entertainment, while Schlesinger led television distribution.
The layoffs come a few days after WarnerMedia underwent a massive reorganization that led to the departure of two top executives by new CEO Jason Kilar. At the same time, the entertainment business continues to suffer from the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered studios and halted virtually all physical production since March.