Warner Bros. Television Group cut 26% of its workforce on Tuesday, October 11th as part of its parent company’s continued cost-cutting measures. Among the hardest-hit divisions was the animation department, which will consolidate Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) and Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) as part of a “strategic realignment.”
“We are implementing a new streamlined structure in which the development and main production teams will now work across both Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios,” chairman Channing Dungey wrote in a company-wide memo (via Deadline).
Both the development and production teams at WBA and CNS will be merged, with Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe operating independently from the other studios. As Cartoon Brew points out, the consolidation will likely make an impact on the future of new IP from the combined division.
Whereas Cartoon Network Studios has primarily been focused on original series and specials like Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa, We Bare Bears, Craig of the Creek, and Summer Camp Island, Warner Bros. Animation has mostly revisited old IP with series like Harley Quinn, Teen Titans Go!, Looney Tunes Cartoons, The Tom and Jerry Show, and Animaniacs.
In other words, we can look out for more reboots like The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, both of which original creator Craig McCracken is helming at Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.
All told, Warner Bros. Television Group laid off 82 employees across its scripted, unscripted, and animation divisions on Tuesday. It also will not fill 43 more vacant positions. There won’t be any structural changes to the scripted side, but the company is combining the unscripted creative development and programming roles across Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Deadline reports that there will be more layoffs today, October 12th, in the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming marketing division.
CEO David Zaslav has been on a cost-cutting spree since the Warner Bros. Discovery merger was completed in April with an announced goal of finding $3 billion in savings. A small sampling of the steps taken includes shutting down CNN+, shelving Batgirl, canceling a Batman animated series at HBO Max, and delaying the sequels to Aquaman and Shazam.