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Executives in charge of HBO Max overseas to depart company

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Nearly three dozen executives in charge of programming and production for HBO Max’s overseas products will depart Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) over the next several months, according to a report published on Thursday.

The report, which first appeared in the entertainment trade publication Deadline Hollywood, said Johnathan Young, HBO Max’s head of original programming in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was one of 29 executives who will depart WBD over the next 15 months.

Other executives who are being let go include Christian Wikander, HBO Max’s vice president of original programming in the Nordic countries, and Annelies Sitvast, the head of unscripted programming in overseas markets.

Deadline Hollywood said WBD will continue to commission European programming for HBO Max and its other streaming services there, but those programs will be licensed by the company’s linear and streaming teams based in those countries, with no specific focus on streaming services like HBO Max or its other flagship streamer, Discovery Plus.

Several other key executives for HBO Max, including workers who are focused on documentary production and licensing, will remain with the company.

The departures come as WBD re-structures its company after Discovery merged with WarnerMedia earlier this year. The shuffle has seen the departure of key executives, mostly on the WarnerMedia side of the enterprise; on Wednesday, HBO Max’s global head of technology and product Jason Press announced his departure.

Next year, WBD will shut down HBO Max and Discovery Plus and will launch a new streaming service that combines the content libraries of both brands into a single user experience. The new service has yet to be named or priced.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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