Layoffs Expected at WarnerMedia

BURBANK (CNS) - Employees are bracing for layoffs at AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, as the entertainment conglomerate that encompasses HBO, TBS, TNT and the Burbank-based Warner Bros. film and TV studio continues to grapple with a changing landscape due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Like the rest of the entertainment industry, we have not been immune to the significant impact of the pandemic,'' a WarnerMedia statement reads. “That includes an acceleration in shifting consumer behavior, especially in the way they are viewing content. We shared with our employees recently that the organization will be restructured to respond to those changes and prioritize growth opportunities, with emphasis on direct-to-consumer. We are in the midst of that process and it will involve increased investments in priority areas and, unfortunately, reductions in others.''

A representative of New York-based WarnerMedia declined Thursday to confirm the number of layoffs, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Los Angeles Times reported that WarnerMedia is looking for cost savings that could result in “thousands'' of lost jobs over the next few weeks. The newspaper said it spoke with people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment publicly on the plans.

In August, WarnerMedia parted ways with more than 600 employees, mostly at Warner Bros. studio. And on Sept. 30, The Walt Disney Co. announced that it would lay off 28,000 employees from its parks, experiences and products division.

Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal has also been forced to make substantial workforce reductions as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced studios to delay film releases, shuttered movie theaters and theme parks and increased the costs of productions that do go forward.

Photo: Getty Images

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