Cartoon Network Merges with Warner Bros. Animation!!

The animation departments and many animated projects at Warner Bros. have seen large and seismic shifts over the last few months, with the latest news from the media giant being that Cartoon Network Studios will be merging with its sister studio Warner Bros. Animation.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, which was announced via a company-wide memo from chairman Channing Dungey and revealed to staff that Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) and Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) will be merged in order to consolidate their animation division, with Warner Bros. citing this move as a “strategic realignment” of the company. Previously, the three animation studios, the third being Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe, all shared programming, casting, legal, and business affairs, but now the development and production teams of both WBA and CNS will be merged together. While the two animation studios will become one, they will retain their labels. Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe will remain a separate team. All three labels will continue to be headed up by the studios’ President, Sam Register.

The consolidation news came off the heels of major layoffs at the company as Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) laid off 82 scripted, unscripted, and animation employees on Tuesday, which made up 26% of the companies’ workforce in those units. In addition to these firings, WBTVG does not plan to fill 43 other vacant positions. These announcements are just the latest in a string of controversial choices at Warner Bros. that have negatively impacted many that worked on animated projects on platforms such as HBO Max, which saw the removal of over 30 animated titles including the likes of Infinity TrainOKKO, and Summer Camp Island from HBO Max as the streaming service makes strides to merge with Discovery+ back in late August. These series removals were also joined by the cancellation of Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, the sequel film to 2020’s Scoob! as well as the high-profile cancellation of the live-action Batgirl film starring Leslie Grace.

While the fallout of this merger will still need to be seen, it is clear that the original projects that have come from CNS might become much fewer and farther in between as under David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO, a push more focused on IPs has been implemented across all departments of the company. WBA has been known for this approach as many of their recent projects are tied to existing brands such as DC and Mortal Kombat with projects such as Teen Titans Go!Aquaman: King of AtlantisInjustice, the Mortal Kombat Legends series, the Harley Quinn series, among many others. Meanwhile, CNS had a greater focus on original projects with the likes of Genndy Tartakovsky‘s Adult Swim series PrimalOver the Garden Wall, the aforementioned Infinity Train, and Steven Universe, just to name a few. With both studios now using the same resources and the stated plan from Warner Bros. Discovery, it could be very possible that CNS will now have a greater output of IP-based projects.

With this new merger, kids and family series development team will be led by Audrey Diehl while adult animation development will be led by Peter Girardi. Longform animated series development will be led by Sammy Perlmutter, with Bobbie Page leading main production. Ed Adams will continue to be Executive Vice President and General Manager.

 

via Collider

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