29 To Depart Roles In Europe – Deadline – Aumag The Talks Today

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. Discovery is laying off 29 employees in Europe, including key programming executives, as the company is phasing out HBO Max’s European originals and transitioning to a new local commissioning model, Deadline can reveal.

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Top executives leaving the company include HBO Max EMEA VP Original Programming and Production CEE Johnathan Young; VP and Editor-in-Chief of Original Programming, Nordics Christian Wikander; and Director of Unscripted Original Production Annelies Sitvast. Mia Edde, who joined last year as Executive Director, Content Acquisitions in Turkey, has already left.

A total of 29 will depart over the next 15 months, with the remainder coming from the teams of departing executives.

Deadline anticipates that WBD will continue to invest in local commissions and acquisitions in Europe, but that original programming responsibilities will now be assumed by the company’s local linear and streaming teams and no streaming-only commissions will be paid.

We saw an internal memo to the staff at HBO Max EMEA Head of Original Programming Antony Root this morning outlining the changes, and individuals are expected to move on after completing the projects they are currently working on . There are no new program developments.

Young, Wikander and Sitvast are producing several unannounced shows that have been greenlit for HBO Max. Details are to follow in due course.

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Young is known for shows such as The package Spirit the dew from Poland, mammon in the Czech Republic, The informant in Hungary and Ruxx in Romania while Wikander lagged behind Pray, obey, kill from Swedenprecursor Season two in Norway and kamikaze from Denmark. He also worked on HBO Max’s local presence. Sitvast oversaw unplanned expansion in EMEA and worked on the four European versions of the US format Fboy Island in Denmark, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands and a production of traitor in Spain.

Root remains in office, as does Hanka Kastelicová (VP Documentaries), Steve Matthews (VP ​​Scripted Development), Miguel Salvat (VP and Commissioning Editor Iberia, HBO Max), and Vera Peltekian (VP and Commissioning Editor France, HBO Max).

The cuts have been expected since it was announced that following the merger of Discovery and Warner Bros., HBO Max would halt development of new original programming in most of Europe as David Zaslav and his executive team sought to cut costs and save $3bn. USD in savings to find the global business.

WBD plans to merge HBO Max, which had expanded internationally, and the non-scripted Discovery+.