Image Source: The Verge
Following weeks of rumors, Warner Bros. Discovery is prepared to discuss some of the improvements coming to HBO Max in anticipation of the anticipated merging of the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services in 2019. HBO Max will reduce its reality programming section, as expected.
Around 14% of the workforce overseen by HBO/HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys will be cut as a result of the adjustments. This means that the restructuring will result in the layoffs of about 70 workers.
As a result of the modifications, Sarah Aubrey, who is now HBO Max’s head of original content, will now concentrate her supervision on the Max Originals drama lineup. In addition, she will now collaborate with Gerhard Zeiler and the Warner Bros. Discovery Foreign team on international programming strategy as a result of the changes. As the lead for Max Originals drama, Joey Chavez, executive vice president of programming, will continue to answer to Aubrey.
The HBO Max comedy team will now report to Amy Gravitt, HBO’s head of comedy and executive vice president of programming, uniting HBO and Max Original comedy under one team. In addition, former HBO Max humor director Suzanna Makkos will now report to Gravitt.
The departments for Max Originals non-fiction (also known as its reality team) and live-action family originals will be severely constrained under the new system, as has been hotly rumored. However, the other direct reports for HBO programming under Bloys remain the same.
HBO Max is trimming its workforce
With thousands of hours of reality programming from the Discovery side set to be included in a merged offering, the firm didn’t think it made sense to have a team at HBO Max continue to create and produce reality when that genre will be well-covered. Existing programs like “FBoy Island” will continue to air, and staff members will remain in place to keep the lights on with programs like that.
Regarding the decision to abandon the kids’ programming, it was realized that doing so would require a considerably higher expenditure than was now possible, given the demand for that programming on Max.
In addition, HBO Max’s casting team will also be affected because HBO doesn’t have in-house casting and prefers for the executives to interact directly with the casting director.
Finally, acquisitions, the group responsible for HBO pay-one deals and third-party library deals, is also cutting back. The necessity for a sizable acquisitions division was no longer required with HBO’s last external pay-one agreement arriving with “Avatar” in 2023 and corporations relocating the majority of their output in-house. As a result, there will be some libraries that pay two and pay three discounts, but Warner will be the primary source for most significant purchases.