Warner Bros. Discovery’s restructuring costs could hit north of $4bn as it attempts to combine the Warner Media and Discovery businesses.
WBD has been cutting staff and content over the past six months, with figures revealed in an SEC filing yesterday confirming that the total hit will fall between $3.2bn and $4.3bn in pre-tax restructuring charges.
WBD’s Q3 estimates put the restructuring cost in that quarter alone at between $1.3bn and $1.6bn with the total charges likely to run until the end of 2024.
Charges of between $2bn and $2.5bn will be attributed to “strategic content programming assessments” – essentially writing off shows and development costs – while staff cuts are expected to Toal between $800m and $1.1bn.
WBD said the costs, which could change, are part of its “plan to achieve significant cost synergies”, adding hat it has “finalised the framework supporting its ongoing restructuring and transformation initiatives.”
The merged company has made a swathe of cuts as it seeks to find synergy savings of around $3bn, including writing off TV series and films such as Batgirl.
Staffing levels have also been slashed, with the latest wave of redundancies hitting around 125 positions at Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) as part of the ongoing restructuring.
The Channing Dungey-led division laid off 82 people and will no longer seek to fill a further 43 vacant positions, across scripted, unscripted and animation. These cuts amount to around 26% of the total team. Warner Bros. TV is behind shows including The Flight Attendant and Gossip Girl for HBO Max, Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso, David Makes Man for OWN and The Kominsky Method for Netflix.
In August, the company laid off 14% of HBO and HBO Max staff – around 70 people – with unscripted and live-action family programming hit the hardest.
TBI revealed earlier this summer that WBD was also in the process of making deep cuts across Europe, with the originals division led by HBO Max EMEA chief Antony Root set to be closed by the end of the year.