WarnerMedia Launches $100 Million Fund for Laid Off Crew Workers

Warner Bros
March 15, 2019. The home page of the Warner Brothers website, view through a magnifying glass. Warner Brothers company logo is visible. Soft focus. - Image (Marko Aliaksandr / Shutterstock.com)

Warnermedia is pledging a $100 million in relief to those workers affected by the Coronavirus related Hollywood shutdown.

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey made the announcement on Friday via an internal memo. Stankey explains, “We have paused many productions for the health and safety of employees, cast, crew and community. We are stepping up with a commitment of more than $100 million to assist team members of those productions during this time.”

Stankey said that the upcoming launch of HBO Max will not be impacted by the Hollywood Shutdown and is still on track to debut in May. “Our tech teams have been operating under very unique circumstances and have adapted quickly to a new way of working,” Stankey wrote. “And the marketing team has had to recast plans to reach potential subscribers in innovative ways.”

HBO Max
Stone, Staffordshire / UK – November 17, 2019: HBO max logo on a smartphone covered with popcorn. Concept photo for a new video streaming service. (Editorial credit: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com)

Stankey did point out that their advertising business is taking a financial hit due to the lack of NCAA March Madness on their Turner networks, which was supposed to start last week. Last year’s tournament alone allowed for the company to generate $900 million in advertising revenue to Turner and CBS.

“Advertising will face headwinds in no small part due to the cancellation of NCAA March Madness and the suspension of the NBA season,” he said. “As a result, our ad sales teams have been collaborating with Xandr and our clients to develop innovative solutions that provide new value to brands across our portfolio, including our linear networks where we’ve seen substantial increases in ratings as more people are working from and staying at home.”

That said, HBO is seeing a massive rise in streaming numbers while CNN’s ratings have risen more than 167% since March 9th.

In related news, Netflix created a $100 million Coronavirus relief fund.

As the Coronavirus spreads throughout the world, Netflix’s fund will help members of the creative community are unemployed and have no way to make money during the COVID-19 outbreak. Netflix says the majority of the fund will go toward supporting unemployed crew members who were laid-off by the outbreak.

“The COVID-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally — leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs,” Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “These include electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide.”

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