Warner Bros. Discovery Exec says shows and movies are not canceled for tax reasons

About the business decisions of Warner Bros. Discovery has been much talked about lately, with the newly merged company working to take a significant chunk of debt out of its budget. Part of that strategy included canceling or scrapping several movies and TV shows, some of which were already set to air prior to the decisions. Some reports have indicated that these cancellations were for the sake of tax write-offs, with Warner Bros. Discovery seemingly made more money by not airing the content. At a recent keynote address in Austin, Texas, Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery’s US Networks Group, that this is not the case.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t really categorize it for tax reasons,” Finch said. “The challenges when you bring two companies together, you assess what you have. Then you see if what you have fits with your ongoing strategy. So that had a lot to do with what we had to do. They were painful decisions. I know how it must feel to be a content creator and then have your work [pulled]. None of this was taken lightly. These were really painful decisions and where possible we work very closely with the creators to find a home for a lot of the content.”

“I spent a long time talking heart to heart with people explaining what happened, why it happened, all the decisions involved,” Finch added. “I totally understand why people would be nervous. I hope they won’t be because that was a moment in time, that had nothing to do with how we want to run this business. It happens in the industry in other places. “It’s not how we do business, it’s not a strategy. I’m happy to talk face to face with anyone who wants to talk about it because it was really painful and not the way we tend to move forward.”

Why is Warner Bros. canceling? Discovery so many shows and movies?

These moves have led to some new behind-the-scenes changes at HBO Max, TNT, and TBS. These patterns started with the cancellation of bat girl and Scoob!: Holidays back in August, both of which were already completed and were set to debut on HBO Max. In the months since, Warner Bros. Discovery removed some HBO Max exclusive movies from their streaming platform, some fan-favorite animated series. , and even existing HBO originals like West world and The Nevers. Anonymous sources claimed last August that no existing show is safe from possibly being canceled or written off, with Warner Bros. Discovery now makes case-by-case decisions.

“Obviously the course corrections, making changes quickly where we disagree with the track WarnerMedia was on, took a lot of courage and execution in the beginning,” Weidenfels said of the bat girl canceled last year. “I don’t think it’s unusual, we’re a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is there’s judgment and views about what the potential is of what a particular piece of IP could be…I’m happy to are seeing a more rational approach to content spending. We’ve made some course corrections, but we’re in business to create content and tell compelling stories, and we’ll fund that.”

What do you think of these new comments about the recent Warner Bros. cancellations? Discovery? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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