Warner Bros. Is Now In A Period Of "Relaunching" After Tumultuous 2022
"I think we've come to great solutions and, most importantly, we're done with that chapter."
Hollywood giant Warner Bros. Discovery had a tumultuous 2022, to say the least, but the stunning shakeups from last year--including the cancellation of the Batgirl movie--are over and done with, according to the company's CFO.
Gunnar Wiedenfels said during a Citi speaking event this week attended by Variety that 2023 will be a year of "relaunching and building" as compared to "restructuring" in 2022 that included layoffs and cancellations, among other hardships for the company and its workforce.
"I think we've come to great solutions and, most importantly, we're done with that chapter," Wiedenfels said. "That was very important to all of us, to really use 2022 to leave the purchase accounting behind us, leave those initial strategy changes behind us, get it all out there in terms of our restructuring estimates and then be able to turn the page forward. I think the team has laid a great foundation and I'm really excited about the growth from here."
Warner Bros. Discovery formed in April 2022 following its buyout of WarnerMedia and merger with Discovery. As part of these major changes, Warner Bros. Discovery--under the leadership of CEO David Zaslav--began to take steps to cut costs by $3.5 billion. To get there, Warner Bros. Discovery made major changes like cancelling the mostly finished Batgirl movie. The company also removed hundreds of episodes of Looney Tunes and The Flintstones and canceled Westworld. The actors will be paid for the final season, even though it's not happening, and existing episodes of Westworld are moving from HBO Max to other services.
Wiedenfels said the big moves by Warner Bros. Discovery were due in part to an "irrational time of overspending with limited focus on return on investment."
According to Wiedenfels, Warner Bros. Discovery has now "command and control over the business." The executive added, "We're really on track for a lot of asset value creation and free cashflow generation."
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