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Warner Bros. Discovery to End Cutting Content for Taxes

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
CFO Gunnar Weidenfels spoke at a Citibank conference about content plans amidst the merger, including removing old titles and cancelling shows.

Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels announced Thursday morning the company will no longer cut TV shows and movies alike for the sake of saving costs. This past year, the media giant had a number of cancellations such as Batgirl, Batman: The Caped Crusader, Raised by Wolves, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Gentleman Jack, amongst others.

“We are done with that chapter,” Wiedenfels said while speaking at a Citibank conference. “We’re coming from an irrational time of overspending with very limited focus on return on investment, and I think others are going to have to make some adjustments that we frankly have behind us now.” Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly wrote down between $2.8 billion and $3.5 billion in content and development costs.

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Additionally, the executive noted that Warner Bros. Discovery has no intention on cutting its spending. “Content is the lifeblood of this company. It’s obviously a hit-driven business, you win some you lose some. But if you look at the creative lineup that David [Zaslav] has been able to assemble, this is a first flight lineup of creative talent,” he added.

Wiedenfels spending comments coincide with the amount spent on HBO Max’s newest series, The Last of Us, based on a critically acclaimed video game that was released in 2013. Earlier this week, The New Yorker reported HBO’s spending totaling over $100 million on the show, which will launch on January 15.

With HBO closing its cancellation period and opening its wallet to spend more on content, Wiedenfels said the cost of apps will go up. “There’s no doubt that these products are priced way too low… if you look at trend lines over the past 20 or 36 months, a number of players have started gradually bringing up prices. So I think there’s a building consensus that this phase of dumping pricing is over.”


About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.