The latest round of layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery raised some concerns among Hollywood’s biggest names.
Directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson issued a statement Thursday urging the company to protect the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel, which has been a favorite of filmmakers for its preservation of classic movies as well as insights from the people behind them.
“Turner Classic Movies has always been more than just a channel. It is truly a precious resource of cinema, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And while it has never been a financial juggernaut, it has always been a profitable endeavor since its inception,” the three wrote.
TCM wasn’t spared the layoffs, with several high-ranking executives being affected, including general manager Pola Chagnon and Charles Tabesh, TCM’s senior vice president of programming and content strategy.
As Hollywood collectively rallied behind the channel, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reached out to the director trio to assure them that TCM wouldn’t change, despite the new management.
“Earlier this week, David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, got in touch to talk about the restructuring of TCM,” they wrote. “We have each spent time talking to David, separately and together, and it’s clear that TCM and classic cinema are very important to him…We are heartened and encouraged by the conversations we’ve had thus far, and we are committed to working together to ensure the continuation of this cultural touchstone that we all treasure.”
The layoffs are the most recent change in a series of moves the company has made since its 2022 merger. It has also notably reduced spending on content and rebranded its streaming service, fusing HBO Max with its Discovery+ channel.
TCM content is available on the now renamed Max service.
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