HBO Max Starts Layoffs, Brings in New Leadership Structure

By Rebecca Theodore-Vachon 

More changes are coming to HBO Max in the wake of the merger of Warner Media with Discovery.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO Max, has laid off 14%—about 70 employees—from his teams to reduce costs under the mandate of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav to find $3 billion in savings.

The four departments most impacted by the layoffs are HBO Max non-fiction and live action, family originals, original reality (led by Jennifer O’Connell) as well as casting, international and acquisitions. The latter two departments are being reduced due to staffing redundancies.


Sarah Aubrey will remain to head HBO Max original dramas, along with Warner Bros. Discovery’s Gerhard Zeiler with international programming. Joey Chavez, evp of programming, will report to Aubrey as lead for HBO Max dramas. HBO Max comedy will be run by Amy Gravitt with Suzanna Makkos.

With the additions of unscripted programming from Discovery, the focus on HBO Max unscripted originals has shifted. However, current HBO Max unscripted originals will remain on the streaming platform with renewals based on performance by Discovery executives.

HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into a single streaming service by Summer 2023. The merge has caused backlash thanks to the cancellation of the feature film Batgirl, which was set to play in theaters and on HBO Max, and the quiet removal of Warner Bros. films and shows from the library.