Warner Bros. Discovery lays off its own executives as restructuring continues

The subtractions continue as Discovery of Warner Bros. continues its restructuring. OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) is the latest victim of the company’s widespread layoff, with several top executives being fired from the company according to a report by Variety. Among those leaving are the head of marketing Jennifer Gidenssenior vice president of business and legal affairs Karen Grant Selmaprogramming manager MaryBeth Cuninand Executive Vice President of Communications and Strategy Nicole Nichols. Giddens, Grant-Selma and Cunin will leave the company altogether while Nichols will continue to lead communications with HARPO and as Oprah Winfreypersonal representative of.

Since the company took on its new CEO David Zaslav, layoffs have come aplenty at Warner Bros. HBO and HBO Max alone have been hit by 70 layoffs, which equates to about 14% of staff under the chief content officer. Casey Bloys. It all really started with the former CEO and Chairman of WarnerMedia’s dump Anne Sarnoff, which found its position in jeopardy with the merger. This is the first major round of layoffs from the Discovery side of the merger, however, and it’s proving to be one of the biggest considering the names that have been cut.


All four leaders have had long careers with other networks and streamers. Giddens previously served as senior vice president of marketing and digital for Universal Kids and led creative marketing for Netflix’s kids and family division, while working for NBC Universal, Turner Entertainment and Scripp Networks. Grant-Selma, meanwhile, had served as vice president of business and legal affairs at Universal Pictures before joining Live Nation and then DreamWorks Animation. His career also included stints at AMC, NBCUniversal, Maker Studios and others.

RELATED: The movie “Blue Beetle” is still in the works despite the restructuring of Warner Bros.

Prior to moving to OWN, Cunin served as vice president and then senior vice president of programming, strategy and acquisitions at CMT. She had worked for OWN since 2013 and was promoted to her management role in 2016. The most tenured of the group was Nichols, whose tenure began with the founding of the company in 2011 and brought with her a comprehensive resume including senior communications positions at Fox and Disney/ABC Television Group.

The layoffs are part of a larger plan to cut costs and streamline Warner Bros. Discovery, now unified. In all areas, big changes swept through the company under Zaslav’s rule, some of which raised more than a few eyebrows in what can only be described as a chaotic transition. Most notable was the death of bat girlbut it also saw many shows and movies canceled, and HBO Max purged with over 30 gutted titles of the streamer.

OWN is talk show personality Winfrey’s network that features a slew of programming primarily targeting African-American audiences. The basic cable channel offers a mix of talk shows, including Winfrey’s, as well as original programs like David makes the man and sugar queen among others.

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

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