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The Wall Street Journal: Warner Bros. Discovery warns of as much as $4.3 billion in restructuring charges

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Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.
WBD,
-2.30%

 said it expected to incur as much as $4.3 billion in pretax restructuring charges through 2024, the result of a cost-cutting effort following the combination earlier this year of Discovery Inc. and AT&T Inc.’s
T,
+2.40%

WarnerMedia unit. 

The majority of the charges — between $2 billion and $2.5 billion — are tied to restructuring the company’s content operations, including writing down the value of some content and killing off projects that were in development, Warner Bros. Discovery said in a securities filing Monday. The company is expected to report third-quarter earnings Nov. 3.

New management at the company is trying to make good on a promise to Wall Street to find $3 billion in cost-savings through the combination of Discovery with WarnerMedia. The company is also wrestling with a heavy debt load. At the end of the second quarter, the company had debt of $53 billion.

Among the projects that have been scratched was a nearly completed “Batgirl” movie being made for HBO Max. A project from producer J.J. Abrams called “Demimonde” was also cut and is now being shopped elsewhere.

There have been significant layoffs since the deal closed. Earlier this month, about 26% of all positions at Warner Bros. Television were eliminated in cost-cutting moves. Cuts have also been made at HBO and at the Warner and Discovery cable networks including TBS, TNT and CNN.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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