As part of the broad WarnerMedia restructuring announced by CEO Jason Kilar, Warner Bros Television Group chairman Peter Roth is consolidating the studio’s scripted and unscripted television production operations.
On the unscripted side, the studio’s efforts will continue to be led by Warner Bros Unscripted & Alternative Television president Mike Darnell, who will continue to oversee Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures and Shed Media, reporting to Roth. Physical production, business affairs and finance for all unscripted programming will now be consolidated in a new organizational structure servicing all three labels, resulting in a number of layoffs.
Kevin E. Fortson, previously EVP Production, Warner Horizon Television, and Matt Matzkin, previously EVP Business Affairs, Warner Horizon Television, will now take on new leadership roles across all unscripted programming, reporting directly to Darnell. Fortson will lead all aspects of physical production (including budgeting, scheduling, staffing and more), while Matzkin will oversee all business affairs, legal and finance for series from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures and Shed Media.
The duo are taking over the responsibilities held by Telepictures EVP and GM Donna Redier Linsk, who is leaving, I have learned. Telepictures produces The Ellen DeGeneres Show, whose workplace culture has been under scrutiny over the past few weeks. Warner Bros declined comment.
Brooke Karzen will continue to run development and programming for Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, a producer of primetime reality series for both network and cable.
David McGuire will continue to lead current programming and will add responsibilities for overseeing development at Telepictures, a producer of multiplatform television series and digital content for the first-run syndication, cable, streaming and digital marketplace.
Lisa Shannon and Dan Peirson will continue to jointly run development and programming for Shed Media, which produces unscripted formats across a variety of leading network, cable and streaming destinations.
The move are part of the slew of changes at WarnerMedia that included a total of about 600 staffers departing the company beginning today, sources told Deadline. The reductions from a workforce of about 25,000 follow major changes announced late Friday by Kilar.
Advocating a shift toward consumer-facing operations and away from wholesale, Kilar unveiled a new WarnerMedia executive structure Friday, expanding the purview of former Warner Bros chief Ann Sarnoff, HBO programming boss Casey Bloys and WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer head Andy Forssell.
Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and HBO Max/TNT/TBS overseer Kevin Reilly departed the company, along with communications and marketing exec Keith Cocozza.
Reducing costs, through staff reductions, asset sales and other means, has been a central focus of AT&T as it has worked to absorb 2018’s $81 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which was renamed WarnerMedia.