Casey Bloys reshapes the leadership structure – The Hollywood Reporter

As expected, layoffs hit Casey BloysHBO Max and HBO teams.

An estimated 14% of Bloys’ teams – around 70 people – have been made redundant as part of the downsizing following WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery. Removals are the latest step in cutting costs for the handset Discovery of Warner Bros. under CEO David Zaslav.

As part of the layoffs, Sarah Aubrey will continue to oversee HBO Max’s original drama slate and add international programming alongside the WBD international division headed by Gerhard Zeiler. HBO Max’s comedy, however, will now be under the supervision of HBO’s head of comedy, Amy Gravitt, with Max’s Suzanna Makkos reporting directly to the premiere. Gravitt, a well-regarded HBO veteran with a solid track record, will now oversee the combined comedy department. Joey Chavez, executive vice president of programming, will continue to report to Aubrey as head of Max dramas.

International co-productions — such as I can destroy you – will now be managed by the theater and comedy groups. With Warners titles already earmarked for HBO Max, there was less need for an acquisitions group, especially given the reduced need for third-party titles.

Following the reduction of HBO Max non-fiction and live-action family originals, both departments have been badly hit by the layoffs. HBO Max’s original reality – helmed by Jennifer O’Connell – along with casting, international and acquisitions are the four most affected departments, along with business affairs and production. The last two departments are being cut to eliminate layoffs, part of Zaslav’s plan to find $3 billion in post-merger savings. The rest of Bloys’ direct programming reports remain unchanged.

With the influx of unscripted programming from Discovery, HBO Max had little to no need to continue focusing on originals. Current HBO Max Unscripted Originals will remain on the platform, with renewal decisions based on performance. Their oversight will transition to Discovery executives in the future.

Additional layoffs in other WBD divisions are expected, but that’s it for the Bloys team. The cuts end weeks of wild speculation about their depth, including suggestions that the bulk of HBO Max Originals will be dropped. That’s not the case, however, as Bloys and Aubrey continue to grow a roster that includes hits. And just like that, coed sex life and Gossip Girl.

HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into a single service next year. Executives are currently debating a new name for the service, as sources say a big part of the discussion is whether the HBO name is still part of it or if a broader name for the service would work better. There are no cancellations as part of Monday’s layoffs. HBO also won’t be a tile on any new combined platform. Budgets are also unaffected, as sources say they will only grow to meet rising prices for content and top talent.

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