After rumors swirled that Warner Bros. Discovery would be announcing a massive restructuring for HBO Max, the company has reportedly eliminated some jobs — though not nearly as many as had been feared. Warner Bros. Discovery is cutting around 14 percent of staff, or about 70 jobs, that had been under the purview of HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys, according to Variety.
HBO Max fans had reason to worry about worse cuts — Warner Bros. Discovery shelved Batgirl earlier this month (reportedly for a tax write-off) and has quietly pulled several HBO Max-exclusive films off the service. But ahead of Warner Bros. Discovery replacing HBO Max and Discovery Plus with one combined service next summer, the company is making some changes.
“As we contemplate the Discovery content offering joining HBO Max for an eventual combined platform, we have had to make the incredibly difficult decision to disband or restructure the following teams, none of which reflects the contributions of the individuals impacted here,” according to a memo from Bloys, which Warner Bros. Discovery shared with The Verge. Those affected include HBO Max’s reality unit, casting, and content acquisitions teams.
Warner Bros. Discovery will be competing in an increasingly crowded streaming space. Paramount Plus just announced a deal with Walmart that will bundle the Paramount Plus Essential tier with Walmart Plus subscriptions. Disney announced last week that it will be introducing an ad-supported tier of Disney Plus and that Disney Plus and Hulu would be getting steep price hikes in December. And Netflix is working on an ad-supported tier of its own, though it won’t have everything at launch.