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Cartoon Network Marketing Execs Latest to Go in Warner Bros. Discovery Layoffs

The Hollywood Reporter 10/13/2022 Lesley Goldberg
© Courtesy of Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company; Courtesy of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. ...

Karen Bronzo is making changes in the kids, young adults and classics division of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Two key executives, marketing chief Tricia Melton and senior vp marketing and partnerships at Cartoon Network and Adult Swim Jill King, are leaving the newly merged company at year’s end as Bronzo appears poised to further consolidate those operations within the newly merged conglomerate.

“We are grateful for Tricia and Jill’s contributions to the legacy KYAC businesses and their leadership across these teams,” U.S. networks marketing chief Bronzo wrote in a memo to staffers early Tuesday. “Both Tricia and Jill will be here through the rest of the year, working with me as we realign the teams through this transitional period. I plan to announce the new marketing leadership structure for these networks prior to their departures.”

Melton has been with the company since June 2020 and led the rebranding of Cartoon Network while also launching the Cartoonito label on both the linear network and HBO Max. She also was the champion behind Adult Swim’s first Rick and Morty episode in space, “Wormageddon,” and the show’s first global stunt. For Turner Classic Movies, she developed its new brand strategy and redesign to focus on classic film and culture.

“They say the secret to a long life is knowing when it’s time to go, so I am sharing the news that I will be leaving at the end of the year. I know that this is a challenging, turbulent time for everyone, but I believe deeply in this team, the resilience of each of you individually, and the strength of our collective teams to see these incredible brands through this transition,” she wrote in an internal memo of her own Tuesday.

King, meanwhile, is a 22-year Warners veteran who helped build hits including The Powerpuff Girls and Steven Universe into global franchises while also creating global partnerships with key brands that delivered impressive financial results. King also played a major role in developing and establishing content-focused diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for the company.

“My greatest privilege was leading the best marketing team in the business,” King wrote in her note to staffers Tuesday. “After 22 years, I can say without a doubt that our work has positively influenced media and culture around the world for current and future generations. We led the industry in driving inclusion and representation in children’s content and marketing, built the iconic brands that are Cartoon Network and [adult swim], grew global hit franchises including The Powerpuff GirlsAdventure TimeSteven Universe, and Rick and Morty, rolled out landmark marketing and partnerships, and so much more!”

Michael Ouweleen continues to run Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, reporting to head of U.S. networks Kathleen Finch. Pola Changnon oversees Turner Classic Movies, also reporting to Finch.

The marketing exits come as Warner Bros. Discovery continues to “right-size” the company following its $43 billion merger. Layoffs have already hit multiple divisions, including HBO/HBO Max and, this week, Warner Bros. TV Group, as part of WBD CEO David Zaslav’s efforts to deliver $3 billion in post-merger cost savings.

All facets of the merged Warner Bros. Discovery are being examined as Zaslav looks to save billions in staff redundancies and other areas. Other departments, like ad sales, are also rumored to be looking to cut costs by 20 percent to 30 percent through a combination of layoffs, travel and expense savings and supplier cuts.

HBO Max and Discovery+ will be merged into one service next year. Executives are currently debating a new name for the service, as sources say much of the discussion is about whether the HBO name will remain part of it or if a more broad name for the service would work better.

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