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Warner Bros. Discovery Has a Familiar Plan for TNT, TBS, TruTV: Cut Costs

David Satin

There have been many opinions generated by the cost-cutting measures implemented at Warner Bros. Discovery by CEO David Zaslav. Some fear that the company is damaging its premium brand by cutting shows and movies from its streaming platforms, but WBD is appears to be singularly focused on cutting $3 billion, no matter the non-financial costs.

Zaslav inherited over $50 million in debt when WarnerMedia was acquired by Discovery earlier this year, and was given a mandate to cut a total that $3 billion from WBD’s bottom line. No WBD property has been spared the chopping block in the quest to find those savings, including the Turner Networks (or TNets), which consist of TNT, TBS, and TruTV.

WBD has already scrapped all of the original programs on those networks, and is considering using them as a platform for second runs of shows that appear on HBO like “The Sopranos” and “Succession.” But according to reporting from Deadline, the new team in charge of the TNets are ready to start over from scratch, at a much lower cost.

Kathleen Finch has been tapped to oversee the TNets, and her strategy mirrors that of her parent company’s thus far: Get cheaper across the board. Finch is eager to start generating new original content, as long as it lines up with her cost-cutting goals.

“I’ve had some great meetings with agents and production partners to let them know that yes, we’re definitely open for business at TNT, TBS, and at all the brands that make up the WBD US Networks portfolio,” Finch said according to Deadline. “We’ve spent the past few months evaluating content, our audience make up, which audience groups we want to grow and what kinds of series we need to do that.”

The process of streamlining the budget of the TNets is well underway, as can be seen with the cancelation of shows like “Snowpiercer,” which has a per-episode budget of around $7-8 million. WBD sees that price as far too high for a linear network, and will no longer be using the TNets for such high-profile shows.

Instead, the networks will focus on lower-cost scripted shows without A-list celebrities. TNT will reportedly be the focus for scripted content going forward, and the company is aiming for shows that will compliment its live sports offerings. Future unscripted shows will be steered toward TBS, with TruTV will be focused on shows like “Impractical Jokers” and its spinoffs.

The future programming slate for the TNets is still very much up in the air, but audiences can expect one thing for sure, the days of high-end, prestige dramas with big budgets and well-known stars are at an end for the Turner networks.

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Gratis proefperiode Gratis proefperiode Aanmelden Gratis proefperiode 50% OFF Aanmelden
US$ 69.99 US$ 69.99 US$ 69.99 US$ 25 US$ 40 US$ 40 US$ 64.99
TBS - -
TNT - -
truTV - - ^ US$ 6

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