Casey Bloys addresses HBO/Max Reorg, ‘painful’ firing decisions – deadline

At the end of a day you saw about 70 (14%) employees in their divisions Being Fired, CaseyBloyscontent director of hbo & Max HBOhe just emailed his team about the cuts, as well as his new (former) HBO/Max senior executive team scripted by Amy Gravitt, Francesca Orsi and Sarah Aubrey, which includes new responsibilities for Gravitt and Aubrey.

In the memo (read it in full below), Bloys lays out the responsibilities of his senior executives on the script and documentary side who remain and also highlights the accomplishments of the senior executives who are leaving as a result of the layoffs, Jennifer O’ Connell, Jennifer Kim; Michael Quigley and Linda Lowy.

“While I am confident that these structural changes will allow us to maintain a prosperous business model, these decisions have been extremely painful to make,” Bloys wrote. “We operate in an environment in which we must adapt in real time to the demands of the industry and the company. None of this lessens the blow of parting with such talented, trustworthy, hard-working and celebrated teammates.”

Here is his email:

Equipment,

First of all, I want to thank and acknowledge all of you for the incredible and unparalleled work you have done in all of our programming efforts. This team has achieved success in an unprecedented series of challenges, from 140 Emmy nominations across our brand to recent coverage celebrating HBO Max as one of the best streaming services on the market. I commend your focus and commitment to excellence in these very uncertain times.

Unfortunately, the environment in which we operate is rapidly changing and it is up to us to continue to refine our model to chart a course for long-term success. As you heard from David Zaslav during our last earnings call, producing top-tier HBO/Max scripted content is crucial to the future of WBD. Part of this process involves an honest assessment of what we need to move forward.

To better align our strengths and strategy with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, I am announcing the following organizational changes.

Scripted Originals by Max

Sarah Aubrey will continue to oversee the Max Originals drama slate and expand his responsibilities to include a key strategic global role. Since the platform’s inception, Sarah has been a tirelessly dynamic leader, with a long and diverse list of successes including The stewardess, the peacemaker and so on…, the sexual life of college girls, Y stairs, Among many others. Building on this, and as our company grows in its global reach and aspiration, Sarah’s mandate will include working alongside Gerhard Zeiler and his team to define and implement our international programming strategy. Joey ChavezExecutive Vice President of Programming, will continue to report to Sarah as Max Originals Drama Lead, and together they will focus on developing and producing blockbuster IP series such as peacemaker, dune, the penguin, Y Green Lantern.

Susana Makkos She will now report to Amy Gravitt, HBO’s chief comedy officer and executive vice president of programming. Suzanna has led an incredibly successful comedy slate for Max Originals, punctuated by the acclaimed Emmy-winning series. tricksas much as The sex life of college girls, Rap Sh!t, Y Julia, and also animated series, including the upcoming Velma Y Young love. This transition will align our scripted comedy slate under a powerful team that redefines the genre; And by unifying this department under Amy, we will be able to maximize our effectiveness in continuing to build our slate across the HBO and Max Originals brands. Suzanna will also continue to lead Adult Swim’s adult animation programming.

Aside from Amy now overseeing a combined HBO/HBO Max comedy group, HBO’s leadership remains unchanged. francesca orsiHBO’s chief drama officer and executive vice president of programming will continue to lead the HBO Originals drama team. nancy abrahamEVP programming, and Lisa Hellerexecutive vice president of programming, will continue to lead HBO’s documentary slate, and nina rosensteinEVP Programming, continues to lead our nightly content, talks and specials.

As we contemplate Discovery’s content offering joining HBO Max for an eventual combined platform, we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to disband or restructure the following teams, none of which reflect the contributions of the people affected here.

Max Originals Live Action Nonfiction Family Originals

Jen O’Conneland his talented team have led a diverse, impactful, and entertaining roster, with titles ranging from competition series, including the Emmy-winning Legendary a FBOY Island, 12 Christmas DatesY Find Magic Mike; to documentaries like Class action park, the way downY on the record; and family programming like Chubby Chronicles. I can’t say enough about my respect for Jen’s talent, vision, and passionate commitment to inclusive content. As we go forward, we will not be adding any new reality shows/documentaries to the Max roster. For existing Max reality programming, we will make renewal decisions based on traditional measures of success.

International Originals, HBO Max

In light of the considerable international presence of Warner Bros. Discovery, led by Gerhard Zeiler, we will no longer have a US team dedicated to taking advantage of these opportunities. During his time on HBO Max, jennifer kim, SVP International Originals, was responsible for international content programming, including the acclaimed limited series It’s A Sin and the Peabody Award-winning Sort Of. I extend my sincere thanks to Jen and her team for all of her inspired work. Looking ahead, similar to the model used at HBO for titles like Years and years, I can destroy youY my brilliant friendthe individual drama and comedy teams will evaluate and pursue any international co-productions they may find valuable outside of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Cast, HBO Max

To reflect the model that has been successful over the years at HBO, we will no longer have an in-house casting department for Max Originals. Linda Lowy, EVP Casting, is one of the most talented casting executives in the business. She and her team have much to be proud of, and the impact of her contributions can be seen in the groundbreaking Max Original series.

Content acquisitions, HBO and HBO Max

Our model here will also change, with a significant reduction in team size. This reflects an evolving need as the industry moves away from third-party Pay 1 deals and acquisitions, and as a company we leverage our own Warner Bros. Michael Quigley, EVP, Content Acquisition, who joined the HBO Max team shortly before the platform’s launch, will depart. In his time with the company, Michael spearheaded key acquisition deals, including South Park—and has led a talented team based in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. He has been a skillful leader in the changing market and I wish him every success in the future. royce warriorSVP, Content Acquisition, a core member of HBO’s Acquisitions team for nearly three decades, will lead the newly restructured department and will now report to Glenn Whitehead, President, HBO and HBO Max Production and Business Affairs.

While I am confident that these structural changes will allow us to maintain a prosperous business model, these decisions have been extremely painful to make. We operate in an environment in which we must adapt in real time to the demands of the industry and the company. None of this lessens the blow of parting with such talented, dependable, hard-working and celebrated teammates. I extend my deepest appreciation to each of them as they transition to their next opportunity.

More to come soon, as I’ll be bringing my core team together, where I can provide more information on these changes and the way forward, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have.

Casey

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