Warner Bros. Discovery Layoffs Hit Domestic Cable Group; TCM Sees Leadership Shuffle

Warner Bros. Discovery has begun implementing layoffs in its domestic cable group, cuts that will affect about 100 employees across legacy Discovery and Turner outlets.

Amid the shuffle, TCM general manager Pola Changnon is leaving the classic movie channel after more than 25 years with TCM and Turner. Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family and Boomerang, will oversee TCM, as he did prior to the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger in 2022.

The plan for layoffs across Warner Bros. Discovery’s major divisions were signaled late last year when the company faced extreme financial pressure amid rising losses from its streaming operations and the weakening macroeconomy. WBD’s domestic cable channels — including Discovery, TNT, TBS, TLC, HGTV, Food Network and CNN — were once the envy of the industry in terms of viewership and profitability. But the fast-changing pay TV marketplace and the rise of on-demand streaming has upended the reliable cable TV earnings power that made the former Time Warner a dynamo in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The staff cuts to be implemented this week fell on the units overseen by Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer of the U.S. networks group.

“While change is never easy and can create a sense of uncertainty, I want to assure you that we remain fully committed to this business, the TCM brand, and its purpose to protect and celebrate culture-defining movies. As storytellers, that is our legacy, and we will continue bringing the history and impact of classic films to life on-air and in other ways,” Finch wrote in a memo to staff about the leadership transition at TCM.

The layoffs coming this week won’t be the last for executives and staff at WBD. More cost-cutting its expected in other divisions including the corporate group later this summer.

WBD is hardly alone in passing out pinkslips in Hollywood. Disney and Paramount Global have also made steep cuts in recent weeks. Disney last month finished off a reduction of 7,000 positions as the company looks to re-energize its earnings potential after a huge investments in building out its global direct-to-consumer streaming operations.

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