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John Oliver tears into Warner Bros Discovery on his HBO show Last Week Tonight


John Oliver has torn into Warner Bros Discovery on his HBO show Last Week Tonight for ‘burning down the network’ after numerous projects were culled off.

The comedian sarcastically said the new ‘daddy business’ seemed like it was doing a ‘really great job’ after the media conglomerate axed $825million worth of content.

He joked the parent company was destroying the business for the ‘insurance money’ but added ‘I’m sure that’ll all pass’ and mocked the $90million flop Batgirl.

The fiery comments startled some viewers because HBO is part of the Warner Bros Discovery empire.

It comes after Warner Bros Discovery revealed in an SEC filing on Friday it had wiped off $825million worth of content since its mega merger in May last year.

The huge sum is made up of $496million in impairment on content and $329million in content development write-offs.

The figure was reached after the firm took an ax to shows on TBS and TNT as well as the shelving of $300million disaster CNN+.

The comedian sarcastically said the new 'daddy business' seemed like it was doing a 'really great job' after the media conglomerate axed $825million worth of content

The comedian sarcastically said the new ‘daddy business’ seemed like it was doing a ‘really great job’ after the media conglomerate axed $825million worth of content

How Warner Bros Discovery slashed $825million: Execs cut TV shows, films and a streaming service to reach huge total

Warner Bros Discovery said on Friday it had slashed $825million.

The media conglomerate butchered $496million in content impairment and $329million in content development write-downs.

Snowpiercer (pictured) on TNT was canned by executives

Snowpiercer (pictured) on TNT was canned by executives 

The huge total was reached by culling off programs from TBS including Chad, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and Tracy Morgan’s The Last OG.

It also tore down Snowpiercer from TNT and axed DC film Wonder Twins.

Meanwhile the figure included the $300million wasted on the canned CNN+, which dramatically shut down earlier this year.

WBD streaming chief JB Perrette said on Thursday children’s shows, streaming content and shows on TBS and TNT were mostly responsible for the sum.

He said: ‘We will continue to have healthy content investment, but with these two content portfolios coming together, we see smart opportunities to do this at a much more measured pace than in the previous plans.

‘These are difficult decisions, but we are committed to being disciplined about a framework that guides our content investment for maximum return.’

Oliver said on his show: ‘Sharing vaccines would have served two purposes, basic human decency but also abject selfishness in that stopping outbreaks outbreaks over there may well have prevented an outbreak over here.

‘And yet for some reason we let the outbreak sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90million movie on HBO Max.’

He added: ‘By the way, hi there new business daddy, seems like you’re doing a really great job.

‘I do get the vague sense you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that’ll all pass.’

On Friday Warner Bros Discovery revealed it had take an $825million write-down on content following the WarnerMedia merger.

In an SEC filing the firm wrote: ‘Content impairments and development write-offs resulted from a global strategic review of content following the Merger.’

The eye-watering figure included cuts across film and TV studios, TV networkers and streaming services.

Shelved films such as Batgirl and Scoob: Holiday Haunt were not understood to be a part of it, with them expected to be accounted for next quarter.

But it will incorporate losses from DC project Wonder Twins that was shut down in May before Q2 ended.

TV stations TBS and TNT also saw programs culled off, including Chad, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, The Last OG and Snowpiercer.

Meanwhile the sum is expected to be made up of the disaster at CNN+ but is separate from the staggering $208million paid out in job cuts.

Warner Bros Discovery streaming chief JB Perrette said on Thursday that children’s shows, streaming content and shows on TBS and TNT were mostly responsible for the sum.

He said: ‘We will continue to have healthy content investment, but with these two content portfolios coming together, we see smart opportunities to do this at a much more measured pace than in the previous plans.

‘These are difficult decisions, but we are committed to being disciplined about a framework that guides our content investment for maximum return.’

CEO David Zaslav added: ‘Owning the content that really resonates with people is much more important than just having lots of content.’

The New York-based company lost $3.42billion, or $1.50 per share, in the second quarter, announced Friday.

Its adjusted loss was 11 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected breakeven results.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 totaled $9.83billion, below the $11.53billion that Wall Street was calling for. Shares tumbled 17 percent on Friday.

The Batgirl film was canned by Warner Bros. after spending about $90million on the movie because studio executives want to move away from made-for-streaming projects

The Batgirl film was canned by Warner Bros. after spending about $90million on the movie because studio executives want to move away from made-for-streaming projects

Batgirl directors slam Warner Bros Discovery’s axing of ‘awful’ $90M movie

The directors of scrapped movie Batgirl have slammed Warner Bros’ decision to axe the ‘awful’ $100million film as they said they hoped fans will one day get to see it.    

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the shelved movie’s directors, said they ‘still can’t believe’ the shocking news that their creation was binned – and that they wished Batgirl could have been showed to fans across the world. 

But God willing ‘inshAllah’ it will be one day, they said. 

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the two directors of axed Batgirl, have spoken out after Warner Bros dropped the movie. Writing on Instagram, they wrote: 'We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can't believe it'

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the two directors of axed Batgirl, have spoken out after Warner Bros dropped the movie. Writing on Instagram, they wrote: ‘We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it’

The decision to axe the film — which was slated to be released on HBO Max later this year — came after a series of test screenings were panned by audiences, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand as they seek to streamline the DC Extended Universe.

El Arbi and Fallah, who also directed Bad Boys For Life and Disney+’s Ms Marvel, wrote in a statement on Instagram: ‘We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it. 

‘As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. 

‘Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.’

Elsewhere in the ailing business, Warner Bros Discovery said it will merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into one streaming platform next year to help save $3billion.

Zaslav said the combined services will be launched next summer, with a release planned for Latin America, Europe and other markets through 2024.

The new Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service will include the full libraries of both streaming platforms and have ad free, ad-lite and a free-with-ads versions.

He continued: ‘With respect to streaming, our main priority right now is launching an integrated SVOD service.

‘Once our SVOD service is firmly established in the market, we see real potential and are exploring the opportunity for a fast or free ad-supported streaming offering that would give consumers who do not want to pay a subscription fee access to great library content, while at the same time serving as an entry point to our premium service.’

But as he touted the new services, which does not have a name yet, Zaslav remained quiet about the company’s plan to find $3 billion savings that will result in layoffs.

The melding of the two services, following the completion of Discovery’s $43billion acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia in May 2021, had long been anticipated.

It comes as other cost-cutting measures appeared to be coming into force including a shock announcement of the scrapping of the $90million DC Batgirl girl film.

Other signs of ‘distress’ have also occurred with the shuttering of productions and removing content in search of tax write-offs.

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

A source told The Wrap: ‘Everyone in Warner Bros Discovery is nervous at the moment, and starting to look at alternative job options in case they get the axe.

‘Sounds like they’re not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall.’

They added: ‘All I know is they’re folding HBO Max into HBO, and there will be redundancies.’

The redundancies are said to be the prime source for the coming layoffs, something Zaslav and executives have practice with before when they shut down CNN+.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, pictured, confirmed the merge of the HBO Max and Discovery+ services into one streaming platform next summer

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, pictured, confirmed the merge of the HBO Max and Discovery+ services into one streaming platform next summer

The move is a major embarrassment for the network after it was unveiled to much fanfare three weeks ago, including a glitzy launch party in New York. Pictured: Ken Jautz, Andrew Morse, Kasie Hunt, Chris Wallace, Rex Chapman, Anderson Cooper, Amy Entelis, and Michael Bass at the launch event in New York last month

The move is a major embarrassment for the network after it was unveiled to much fanfare three weeks ago, including a glitzy launch party in New York. Pictured: Ken Jautz, Andrew Morse, Kasie Hunt, Chris Wallace, Rex Chapman, Anderson Cooper, Amy Entelis, and Michael Bass at the launch event in New York last month

But last week the producer of DC’s The Flash tried to calm fan’s fears it was next to be axed by Warner Bros after the studio killed off Batgirl.

Starring Ezra Miller, The Flash is scheduled to be released in 2023 – but many have speculated it will also be shelved because of Warner Bros’ seeming lack of clarity.

According to The Flash Film News on Twitter, the movie’s producer Barbara Muschietti said that ‘All is good in Flash land’ despite it only being ‘expected’ to hit theaters next June.

In a conversation with the fan page, which collates information about the upcoming film, Muschietti said that it was ‘absolute b******t’ to suggest that The Flash does not yet have a firm release date.

They posted: ‘Amid the recent DCEU shakeup, THE FLASH producer, Barbara Muschietti, wants to reassure fans that ‘all is good in Flash land.”

Warner Bros has not commented on whether The Flash is still expected to hit screens next year when approached by DailyMail.com.

Warner Bros has allegedly been put in a difficult position because the film’s star Miller has been arrested multiple times – and the actor’s behavior has become erratic, according to Rolling Stone

Miller, who is non binary and uses the pronouns they and them, was arrested twice earlier this year after they allegedly assaulted and spit at someone in Hawaii.  

The film is said to be on track for its release next year, but Warner Bros has paused working on any future projects involving Miller.

According to The Flash Film News on Twitter, the movie's producer said in an Instagram message that 'All is good in Flash land.' It comes after the star of The Flash Ezra Miller was arrested multiple times

According to The Flash Film News on Twitter, the movie’s producer said in an Instagram message that ‘All is good in Flash land.’ It comes after the star of The Flash Ezra Miller was arrested multiple times

Barbara Muschietti tried to ease fans' minds - but many still believe that there is a chance that Warner Bros could axe the film before its release next year

Barbara Muschietti tried to ease fans’ minds – but many still believe that there is a chance that Warner Bros could axe the film before its release next year

The Flash actor Ezra Miller is seen in a police booking photo after his arrest for disorderly conduct and harassment in March 2022

The Flash actor Ezra Miller is seen in a police booking photo after his arrest for disorderly conduct and harassment in March 2022

The Twitter page also said that the producer called the allegation that there is no set date 'absolute b******t'

The Twitter page also said that the producer called the allegation that there is no set date ‘absolute b******t’

Under chief executive Jason Kilar and partly as a Covid response, the studio brought in day-and-date releases in 2021, opening films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Films, such as Batgirl, were to be produced solely for HBO Max.

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

The decision, which was driven partially by a need to bypass Covid-hit theaters in 2021, was not popular among creatives and appears to have been rolled back after the tie-up with Discovery.

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

Zaslav said the firm would shift its focus on attracting top-tier storytellers for TV and film projects and commit to theatrical releases, where more money can be made.

He said: ‘That’s why most people got in this business — to be on the big screen when the lights went out. That is the magic, and the economic model is much stronger.’ 

The change comes as streaming services saw lackluster performances in Wall Street, with Warner Bros Discovery’s stock down more than 31 percent from $25.50 in April.

Within that same time, Netflix saw its stock plummet by about 36 percent, with Paramount’s stock also seeing a drop of about 30 percent.

 

 

‘Biggest flop in US broadcasting history’: CNN+’s talent and fallen hopes of streaming service:

Chris Wallace: Veteran Fox News anchor who was ‘ready for a new adventure’

Veteran Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said he had left the network after 18 years because he was ‘ready for a new adventure’.

He said in a statement he was ‘thrilled’ to be joining the longtime Fox competitor.

He said: ‘I am thrilled to join CNN+. After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming.

‘I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape—and finding new ways to tell stories.

‘As I embark on this adventure, I am honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started.’

Since joining CNN+ – and in the three weeks it lasted – he produced some of the few stand out moments.

He clashed with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when the veteran news anchor grilled her over Joe Biden’s lack of sit-down press interviews.

She also opened up about some of her most notable moments in the briefing room and discussed her tears over Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

He also had a heated exchange with author of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones, where she claimed Americans who fought in the Second World War were guilty of ‘brutally suppressing democracy’ for black Americans.

CNN+ host Chris Wallace has debated 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones over her assertion that the Greatest Generation were brutal oppressors

CNN+ host Chris Wallace has debated 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones over her assertion that the Greatest Generation were brutal oppressors 

Eva Longoria: The actress turned travel journalist who was ‘so excited’ to go Searching For Mexico

Eva Longoria said she was ‘so excited’ to start at CNN+ before she was left in the lurch by the company when it shut down.

She was set to celebrate her heritage by executive producing and starring in six-episodes of Searching for Mexico.

The 47-year-old actress – who boasts 22.4M social media followers – said in December: ‘Secret’s out!

‘So excited for this to launch next year! Big thank you to Stanley Tucci for setting the bar.’

She was referring to Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy starring the 61-year-old Oscar nominee, who’s also executive producing Searching for Mexico.

‘Partnering with CNN on a culinary-driven expedition throughout Mexico is a dream come true,’ Longoria said in a statement.

‘I am so proud of my Mexican-American roots and can’t wait to bring the hidden gems of Mexico to the world through Searching for Mexico.’

On the show, the Casa Del Sol co-founder looked at how blue agave is harvested for tequila and how traditional mole sauce is cooked in Oaxaca.

The 46-year-old actress tweeted: 'Secret's out! So excited for this to launch next year! Big thank you to Stanley Tucci for setting the bar'

The 46-year-old actress tweeted: ‘Secret’s out! So excited for this to launch next year! Big thank you to Stanley Tucci for setting the bar’

Audie Cornish: Seasoned NPR anchor who was just ‘thrilled to be a part of it’

Audie Cornish joined CNN and CNN+ in January from NPR, where she worked for its All Things Considered program.

She joined NPR’s National Desk in 2005, reporting from Nashville, covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

Cornish later joined the NPR politics team in Washington to cover the 2008 presidential race and Barack Obama’s election.

Audie Cornish joined CNN and CNN+ in January from NPR, where she worked for its All Things Considered program

Audie Cornish joined CNN and CNN+ in January from NPR, where she worked for its All Things Considered program

She said in January: ‘I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team. There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them.

‘CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.’

It was not immediately clear what her position at the firm was after CNN+ was shut down.

Alison Roman: Ex-New York Times food writer who had VERY public spat with Chrissy Teigen and joined new CNN venture

Food writer Alison Roman joined CNN+ to work on cookery programs and was seen as a ‘a perfect addition’ to the line-up.

Executives had invested in food-related shows to try to draw a younger audience.

Roman said at the time: ‘I could not be more thrilled to be partnering with CNN Plus on this project.

‘I’ve been dreaming about bringing a new sort of cooking and food show to life for years and I can’t think of any place better to make it a reality.’

Food writer Alison Roman joined CNN+ to work on cookery programs and was seen as a 'a perfect addition' to the line-up

Food writer Alison Roman joined CNN+ to work on cookery programs and was seen as a ‘a perfect addition’ to the line-up

Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president for talent, added: ‘Alison’s unique style and tone make her a perfect addition to our CNN Plus line-up.

‘From vinegar chicken to shallot pasta – we are thrilled that Alison will share the stories behind her signature recipes with the subscribers of CNN Plus.’

Roman was food writer at the New York Times but left in December 2020 after her huge spat with Chrissy Teigen.

In May of that year she apolgized to the model for saying she was ‘horrified’ by her food-based ‘content farm’.

After Teigen took to Twitter to defend her Cravings brand, Roman tried to backtrack.

She said: ‘I shouldn’t have used you /your business (or Marie’s!) as an example to show what I wanted for my own career- it was flippant, careless and I’m so sorry.’

She added: ‘I sent an email but also wanted to say here that I’m genuinely sorry I caused you pain with what I said.’

 

 

 



Read Nore:John Oliver tears into Warner Bros Discovery on his HBO show Last Week Tonight