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article imageAT&T announce cuts to WarnerMedia ahead of streaming service

By Tim Sandle     Mar 4, 2019 in Business
WarnerMedia is to be restructured by its parent company AT&T Inc., this is in preparation for a streaming service battle with the likes of Netlfix and the forthcoming Disney service.
AT&T purchased what was TimeWarner in 2018 for $85 million and re-branded it WarnerMedia. This move has led to a consolidation of services plus a focus on new concepts. The most anticipated of these is the coming launch an over-the-top streaming service, expected in late 2019, and which is designed to compete head-on with Netflix, Amazon Video and Disney+.
Layoffs expected as administration targeted
As part of the preparations, AT&T is to embark on a restructuring of the WarnerMedia business, according to Reuters, who had access to a memo sent to all employees. This isn't necessarily good news for all, with significant layoffs and cost cuts expected.
In the memorandum, as quoted by Forbes, WarnerMedia Chief Executive Officer John Stankey writes: "At a time when we must shift our investment focus to develop more content for specific and demanding audiences on emerging platforms, we can’t sustain a model where we invest one dollar more than necessary in the administrative aspects of running our business. Put simply, our priority is to direct resources to product development and innovation."
AT&T hope that its tough approach will save sufficient money so that funds can be pumped into new programming for the service. As well as Warner, AT&T own CNN, HBO, and Cartoon Network.
Streaming growth
Streaming services are set to grow further. A service designed to showcase the best in British television has recently been announced. Dubbed BritBox, this is intended to be BBC and ITV’s answer to Netflix in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world. The new platform promises the biggest collection of British television content ever assembled in one media package, as well as some new commissions specifically tailored for the streaming service.
In related news, WarnerMedia has announced it is to halt its investment in digital media and technology startup firms, shedding the last vestiges of TimeWarner. This signals a more focused approach is also part of the need to harness resources towards the new streaming service. See: "WarnerMedia shuts its technology investment arm."
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