WarnerMedia has begun offering buyouts to U.S. Turner employees who have been with the company for more than 10 years and are at least 55 years old, a person with knowledge of the buyouts tells TheWrap. They’ll get four weeks’ pay for every year of service, with the payouts capped at two years.
Employees were notified of the offer via email on Wednesday.
We knew there was a big restructuring coming and this cost-cutting, headcount-reducing move is part of that.
Earlier this month, former NBC chief Bob Greenblatt (pictured above) was named WarnerMedia’s entertainment chairman. He oversees TNT, TBS, truTV and the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming platform. WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has oversight of the whole operation for his boss, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
Jeff Zucker and Kevin Tsujihara received expanded roles as part of the reorganization, though Tsujihara has since stepped down from his post as Warner Bros. chairman and CEO.
This whole reorganization comes about as a result of AT&T purchasing Time Warner last year for $85 billion. HBO, also a Time Warner company, is undergoing a similar round of buyouts. A number of top executives have departed the premium-cable channel recently, including President Simon Sutton and CEO Richard Plepler.
Turner’s David Levy stepped down from his post on March 1.
A WarnerMedia spokesman declined to comment on this story.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of the Turner buyouts.
When Greenblatt joined WarnerMedia, TheWrap asked him about potential layoffs due to the restructuring.
“I don’t think you’re going to see anything like what has been predicted,” he said at the time. “It’s really just kind of the knee-jerk reaction that you expect, but you’re not going to see any headlines about hundreds or God-forbid thousands of people being laid off. We’re talking about one, two, three, four — maybe, tens of people. It’s not going to be the shake-out that’s been predicted.”
“I don’t think there’s a desire to just dump costs and people out of this business,” Greenblatt continued. “We’re not doing a merger like Disney and Fox where there are literally thousands of people coming into a universe where there are already thousands of people doing the same jobs. We’re trying to put some networks together.”