Few major studios in the industry seem more tumultuous to work at right than Warner Bros. Discovery, and the concerning trend shows no sign of stopping. Per IndieWire, Warner Bros. Television has eliminated another 125 jobs amidst a wave of consolidation (and subsequent layoffs) within the company.
On Tuesday, Warner Bros. laid off 82 employees and left 43 positions unfilled across scripted, unscripted, and animated divisions. The lost jobs represent 26% of the current and vacant positions at the company—the layoffs alone account for 19% of WBTV’s entire workforce. The highest-profile executive exiting the company, head of unscripted television and Bachelor maven Brooke Karzen, had been with WBTV since 2000.
Part of the aggressive streamlining also includes shuttering Stage 13, a studio created to expand original short-form programming for streaming, and ending the Warner Bros. Television Workshop. A key initiative aimed at cultivating emerging writers and directors from underrepresented groups, WBTV promises that, despite its actions, the mission remains important to the company.
WBTV broke the news to the team via an email from chief Channing Dungey, which IndieWire obtained. In the message, Dungey outlined the changes, and stressed that the layoffs arrived as a result of “restructuring and realignment within our group.”
“This was strictly a business decision, made as thoughtfully and compassionately as possible by studio leadership,” Dungey wrote. ”For those impacted by the changes, I want you to know how grateful I am for your contributions – in some cases, spanning decades – and how deeply sorry I am.”
Having reportedly tasked themselves with finding a way to save $3 billion in costs, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav and CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels have shown there’s little they won’t do to make it happen. From nixing Batgirl (leading to “funeral screenings” of the nearly-finished film) to canceling Chad on the day of its premiere, Zaslav has been brutal in his new strategy. Whether it’s staff or the content they’ve toiled to create, nothing is safe at WB these days.