Warner Trims Jobs in Ad-Sales Unit -- WSJ
AT&T subsidiary acts to eliminate redundancies created by
merging HBO and Turner
By Sahil Patel
This article is being republished as part of our daily
reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S.
print edition of The Wall Street Journal (July 12, 2019).
AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia began making significant job cuts in
its ad sales division on Wednesday, according to people familiar
with the matter, as it continues to reshape the businesses it
bought in as part of the Time Warner Inc. deal last year.
The layoffs are focused on ad sales but don't stop there, as
AT&T continues to eliminate redundancies created when it merged
most of Time Warner's HBO and Turner businesses into
"Today's reorganization included less than 20 job eliminations
out of a 700+ domestic ad sales work force," a WarnerMedia ad sales
spokeswoman said. "We do not anticipate additional job cuts at this
Donna Speciale, WarnerMedia's top ad sales executive, is among
those leaving the company. Her departure was first reported by The
Dan Riess, executive vice president of the Turner Ignite
business, is also leaving, along with employees within various
subdivisions under Turner Ignite, including content partnerships
and product marketing.
WarnerMedia employees and industry watchers have been expecting
layoffs within various Turner business units, including ad sales,
ever since AT&T restructured WarnerMedia in March.
AT&T has big ambitions to increase ad revenue at the company
but has largely spotlighted its ad unit Xandr in that effort. The
company created Xandr last year to offer high-quality media
inventory from WarnerMedia TV networks and digital platforms, as
well as media owned by other content producers, enriched with data
from AT&T's mobile and broadband units.
Turner's existing ad sales operation was left largely untouched
as it worked through this year's TV upfronts, when advertisers
reserve large portions of ad inventory in the coming season. The
company's upfronts negotiations recently came to a close.
"Ad sales was in a holding pattern until upfront negotiations
wrapped up, " a person familiar with the matter said.
WarnerMedia earlier this week disclosed new details of its
coming subscription streaming video service, including its name,
The service is a priority as WarnerMedia and AT&T prepare to
battle Netflix and other upcoming streaming competitors.
Advertising is expected to be a key part of WarnerMedia's streaming
plans, though the company has yet to describe its plans for selling
advertising on HBO Max.
Write to Sahil Patel at Sahil.Patel@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 12, 2019 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
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