Discovery’s first quarterly earnings since becoming the nation’s No. 2 entertainment giant on Thursday. Multiple insiders told TheWrap they expect Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav to announce a major restructuring of marquee streaming platforms HBO Max and Discovery+ during its results or soon after.
According to Yahoo/The Warp “We all know the end game is ‘one company, one product.’ But that takes time,” one insider at a legacy Discovery brand told Variety. “Unscripted is having a really hard time right now — ratings are down and budgets have been demolished.
WBD is in a precarious situation when it comes to appeasing Hollywood’s top creators, which was made even more urgent on Wednesday after the studio killed the DC Comics film “Batgirl.” The entertainment industry was caught by surprise that the mostly completed film staring Leslie Grace, which cost about $90 million to make, won’t be seen theatrically or on its streaming services.
Speculation that layoffs were at hand began rippling through HBO offices late Tuesday afternoon, with one insider stating the pay-TV channel’s employees are “all freaking out” and that “all I know is they’re folding HBO Max into HBO, and there will be redundancies.”
“Everyone in Warner Bros. Discovery is nervous at the moment, and [they’re] starting to look at alternative job options in case they get the axe,” a company insider said. “Sounds like they’re not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall.”
HBO Max development is expected to be especially hard hit with layoffs with two sources placing the amount of dev staff cuts at 70%. “HBO Max has a development team, which is a lot of overhead,” the agent with knowledge explained.
HBO and HBO Max has 76.8 million subscribers, as of the end of March, while Discovery+ has 24 million. By comparison, Netflix has 220.7 million subscribers while Disney+ has 137.7 million.
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