Warner Bros. Discovery Closing Stage 13, WB Television Workshop
After yesterday's reporting that Warner Bros. Discovery would be hitting the company with another major round of layoffs, it appears that Warner Bros. Television Group is taking a big hit right out of the gate. Both the digital short-form programming division Stage 13 and the 40-plus-year-old Warner Bros. Television Workshop are set to be closed. Founded in 2017, Stage 13 was responsible for original short-form programming and produced past projects such as Netflix's Special & It's Bruno! and The CW's Two Sentence Horror Stories, and more. Any existing Stage 13 project in development will be folded into Warner Bros. Television.
As for the Warner Bros. Television Workshop, the current 2022-2023 class will be the last for both its Writers' Workshop and the Directors' Workshop. What's truly heartbreaking about the decision is how successful the program has been in training & mentoring future writers and directors. Some of the influential names that have come through the program include actress/director Regina King, Jonathan I. Kidd & Sonya Winton-Odamtten (Lovecraft Country), Etan Frankel (Animal Kingdom EP), Charmaine Degrate (House of the Dragon), Bola Ogun (The Witcher), Stacey Muhammad (Queen Sugar), and Pamela Romanowsky (Gossip Girl).
With the merger of HBO Max & Discovery+ streaming services expected to happen in Summer/Fall 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and his team have been on cost-savings and cost-cutting bloodletting across the merged companies over the past few months in an effort to find $3B in savings. There had been rumblings of another round of layoffs over the past few weeks, but this Tuesday as that day was surprising to sources speaking with THR. The news comes close to two months after Casey Bloys' HBO Max & HBO teams saw 70 staff members laid off as part of the WBD's savings & restructuring plans. Meanwhile, the proposed streaming services merger set for next year remains flying under the radar, with many wondering if HBO will remain in the revised title.