Kids and animated content are set for a broad swath of cuts across Warner Bros. Discovery.
Yesterday, Deadline revealed that HBO Max had canceled Ellen DeGeneres’ preschool series Llittle Ellen and it’s emerged that this was part of a much wider strategy shift in kids animation.
Warner Bros. Discovery operates kids channels such as Cartoon Network and Boomerang and has a pipeline of kids shows on HBO Max.
The animation pullback followed Deadline’s exclusive story on Friday on HBO Max and the cancellation of Gordita Chronicles, in which the streamer said via a spokesperson that “live-action kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future.”
Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels, on the company’s earnings call, confirmed that kids and animation content, across both streaming and linear networks, would be cut “without an adequate investment case against them.”
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Wiedenfels added that these savings would also include from cuts to streaming movies, the closure of CNN+, the exit from local content in international markets and “restructuring the scripted content portfolio on the linear net”.
He added that the company was also set for significant reductions in external content sales as it prioritizes HBO Max. It will largely halt new content licensing deals.
“This is, of course, an upside opportunity over time as we ramp initiatives back to a balanced level of monetization, depending on relative value contributions,” he said.