As with any merger, the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. into Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) has continued to reshape the corporate structure, as the two companies combine workforces.
Currently, WBD is looking to cut its ad sales team by 30%, likely causing 1,000 people to lose their jobs through “buyouts, layoffs, and natural attrition,” according to a report by The Information.
Axios Media Reporter Sara Fischer obtained an internal email that confirmed the story, with the email referring to the cuts as a “Voluntary Separation Program.”
#BREAKING: Source confirms @theinformation report that up to 30% of @WBD ad sales team expected to be cut as the company looks to find synergies following merger. Memo sent to staff below detailing what they are calling a "Voluntary Separation Program" pic.twitter.com/eVXAe04RZ7
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) June 14, 2022
According to the email, only employees with “7+ years of service as of December 31st, 2022,” as well as “VPs and below.” The teams that are not eligible for the separation program were assured in the email that “they will continue to operate on two legacy systems for a considerable period of time.” The email does not go into specifics on the future structure of the ad sales division.
Warner is currently looking to cut $3 billion in annual expenses, and the ad sales department was deemed ripe for cuts due to overlap in roles. The company is currently carrying $50 billion in debt, according to The Information. WBD is also facing rising rights costs, as the cost for broadcast rights for the National Basketball Association is expected to rise, as WBD looks to strengthen its position in sports streaming. Warner’s TBS and TNT networks also stopped the production and development of scripted programming in an effort to manage programming costs.
Redundancies and cuts are a natural law of mergers and acquisitions in the corporate world, so it’s likely business as usual for WBD, but until the corporate sands stop shifting, the ground will remain unsteady for employees until the merger is complete. All Elite Wrestling’s current contract with WBD runs through 2023 with an option for WBD to re-sign in 2024, after the promotion secured an extension in January of 2020.
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