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HBO Max TO MERGE With Discovery+ Streaming Platform On August 4, Warner Bros. Discovery Job Cuts

Discovery plans to consolidate its two biggest streaming platforms, HBO Max and Discovery+ and this will likely lead to a significant number of layoffs in order to save $3 billion in merger costs.

The announcement is expected to be made Thursday afternoon by the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, before the company’s next quarterly earnings report at 4:30 p.m.

Despite the fact that Discovery+ has 22 million subscribers and HBO Max, along with its HBO television network, has 73.8 million subscribers, it is HBO Max that is in danger of being drained.

HBO Max, which has 73.8 million subscribers, risks being gutted in the merger with Discovery

Discovery+ mainly focuses on non-fiction productions and has 22 million subscribers

Discovery+ mainly focuses on non-fiction productions and has 22 million subscribers

HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys will likely move to a higher position once the consolidation is complete, reports The Envelope.

Bloys could take on a role where he oversees the platform’s overall content, including HBO’s scripted shows and Discovery’s non-fiction offerings, which include content produced for cable channels Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network , HGTV, History, among others.

The platform merger comes as a number of other cost-cutting measures appeared to be taking effect, including a shock announcement that the $90 million DC film Batgirl would be scrapped.

Other signs of “distress” have also occurred with productions shutting down and content being removed in search of tax deductions.

The announcement is expected to be made Thursday afternoon by the CEO of Warner Bros.  Discovery, David Zaslav, before the company's next quarterly earnings report at 4:30 p.m.

The announcement is expected to be made Thursday afternoon by the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, before the company’s next quarterly earnings report at 4:30 p.m.

HBO Max is also said to have quietly removed six original films from the streamer.

“Everyone in Warner Bros. Discovery is nervous right now, and [they’re] start looking for alternative employment options in case they get the axe,’ an insider told The Wrap.

“Looks like they’re not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall.”

“All I know is that they are folding HBO Max into HBO, and there will be layoffs,” they added.

The merger of the two services is not a total surprise.

This year, Warner Bros.  returned to exclusive movie windows for at least 45 days before sending movies to HBO Max

This year, Warner Bros. returned to exclusive movie windows for at least 45 days before sending movies to HBO Max

The idea was floated in March when CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels provided concrete details of the plan once the WarnerMedia acquisition was completed.

At the time, Wiedenfels said the services would come together to create a more appealing consumer product, with HBO Max’s more “masculine” scripted series complementing Discovery’s reality shows, with their all-female audience.

The merger of the two services, following the completion of Discovery’s $43 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T in a deal announced in May 2021, was long overdue.

Wiedenfels said the company would have to “harmonize” the separate technology platforms to offer a single streaming product, with more than 200,000 hours of movies and TV episodes.

There will be an ad-free service and a cheaper, ad-supported tier.

Under the new Zaslav, Warner Bros. changes its strategy for film releases and cost reduction.

Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino revealed HBO Max and Discovery+ plans in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon

Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino revealed HBO Max and Discovery+ plans in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon

Under former chief executive Jason Kilar and partly in response to the pandemic, the studio implemented day-and-date releases in 2021, opening films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Films, like “Batgirl”, were to be produced only for HBO Max.

Warner Bros. had pledged to make movies that could go straight to HBO Max, as part of an effort to boost subscribers in the increasingly crowded streaming industry.

The decision, which was prompted in part by the need to bypass Covid-affected theaters in 2021, was not popular among creatives and appears to have been reversed following the Discovery tie-up.

This year, Warner Bros. returned to exclusive movie windows for at least 45 days before sending movies to HBO Max.

While “Batgirl” wasn’t as expensive as many superhero movies, which typically cost between $150 million and $200 million, it was bound to be a bigger-budget movie for an HBO Max title.

Zaslav maintained that big-budget movies are best served by a theatrical release, but marketing a movie like “Batgirl” for that kind of release would have cost tens of millions more.

The movie Batgirl was

The Batgirl movie was “kept” by Warner Bros. after spending more than $90 million on the film because studio executives want to move away from projects made for streaming