- AT&T-owned WarnerMedia will cut thousands of jobs, beginning in the coming weeks, to reduce its costs by 20%, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
- The layoffs are expected to take place at the company's TV channels HBO, TBS, and TNT, as well as Warner Bros., according to the Journal.
- The cuts come as sales in movie tickets, cable subscriptions, and television ads continue to struggle.
- WarnerMedia already cut more than 500 jobs at its Warner Bros. studio in August.
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WarnerMedia, which houses HBO, TNT, TBS, and Warner Bros., plans to cut thousands of jobs to reduce its costs by 20%, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Sources close to the matter told the paper that the restructure will begin in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 has slashed sales of movie tickets, cable subscriptions, and television ads, hurting WarnerMedia's various companies.
"Like the rest of the entertainment industry, we have not been immune to the significant impact of the pandemic," a WarnerMedia spokesman told the Journal.
The company said it has told its employees the organization will be restructured to prioritize growth.
"We are in the midst of that process and it will involve increased investments in priority areas and, unfortunately, reductions in others," the spokesman added.
WarnerMedia cut more than 500 jobs at Warner Bros. in August, and the company's new CEO Jason Kilar also ousted several senior executives at HBO Max, a streaming service launched in May, as part of a wider overhaul aimed at simplifying how the company makes and distributes content.
AT&T had centered most of its media strategy on HBO Max. But 4.1 million subscribers had activated the app a month after its launch, lagging behind more inexpensive rivals such as Disney and Netflix, according to the Journal.
Switch to streaming hurts jobs
Warner Bros., which previously produced all its content for cable, is being encouraged to focus on streaming platforms such as HBO Max. According to the Journal, that has triggered job cuts, especially on the distribution side.
The move comes after rivals including Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and Walt Disney have also cut jobs as the pandemic weighs on the film and TV business.
Disney said last week it will lay off 28,000 workers. The company's Anaheim, California parks — California Adventure and Disneyland — remain shuttered.
Cineworld said Monday it would cut tens and thousands of jobs and close 536 theaters at Regal, the US' second-largest cinema chain. Cineworld also said it will shut 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the UK.
The decision is in part prompted by the delay of several high-profile movie releases. Last week MGM scrapped plans to bring Daniel Craig's final James Bond movie "No Time to Die" to cinemas in November, pushing release back to April.
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