Warner Bros. Discovery Begin Laying Off Executives From OWN!!

The subtractions carry on as Warner Bros. Discovery continues to restructure. OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) is the latest victim of the company’s widespread layoff with several top executives being removed from the company per a report from Variety. Among those leaving their positions are the head of marketing Jennifer Giddens, senior vice president of business and legal affairs Karen Grant-Selma, head of programming MaryBeth Cunin, and executive vice president of communications and strategies Nicole Nichols. Giddens, Grant-Selma, and Cunin will exit the company altogether while Nichols will hang on as the head of communication with HARPO and as Oprah Winfrey‘s personal representative.

Since the company onboarded its new CEO David Zaslav, layoffs have happened aplenty on the Warner Bros. side. HBO and HBO Max alone were hit with 70 layoffs, roughly equating to 14 percent of the staff under Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys. It all really kicked off with the jettisoning of former WarnerMedia CEO and Chairman Ann Sarnoff, who found her position in jeopardy with the merger. This is the first big set of layoffs on the Discovery end of the merger, however, and it proves to be one of the biggest given the names that were cut.

All four of the executives had extensive careers working for other networks and streamers. Giddens had previously served as senior vice president of marketing and digital for Universal Kids and spearheaded creative marketing for Netflix‘s kids and family division, alongside working for NBC Universal, Turner Entertainment, and Scripp Networks. Grant-Selma, meanwhile, had been the vice president of business and legal affairs at Universal Pictures before moving to Live Nation and then DreamWorks Animation. Her career also included stints with AMC, NBCUniversal, Maker Studios, and others.

Before making the jump to OWN, Cunin was the vice president and then senior vice president of programming, strategy and acquisitions at CMT. She had been with OWN since 2013, receiving a promotion to her senior role in 2016. The most tenured of the bunch was Nichols whose tenure began with the company’s formation in 2011 and brought with her an extensive resume that included senior communications positions at both Fox and Disney/ABC Television Group.

The layoffs are part of the larger plan to cut costs and streamline the now-united Warner Bros. Discovery. Across the board, big changes have swept through the company under the Zaslav regime, some of which have raised more than a few eyebrows in what can only be described as a chaotic transition. Most notable was the death of Batgirl, but it also saw plenty of shows and films canceled, and HBO Max purged with over 30 titles gutted from the streamer.

OWN is the network of talk show personality Winfrey that features a slew of programming primarily targeting African American audiences. The basic cable channel features a mix of talk shows, including Winfrey‘s own, as well as original programming like David Makes Man and Queen Sugar among others.

We’ll have more here on Collider as the Warner Bros. Discovery shakeup continues.


via Collider

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