Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Departure of OWN Executives Signals More Change at Warner Bros. Discovery

Shake-ups at OWN lead to concerns about future programming at the network.

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Jennifer Giddens and Karen Grant-Selma
Jennifer Giddens and Karen Grant-Selma
Photo: OWN

So, Warner Bros. Discovery is a mess.

All corporations go through transitions after a merger, however, things have gotten especially chaotic as the company makes major changes at its various TV networks.

According to Variety, four top executives at OWN have been cut. Among them are general counsel Karen Grant-Selma and chief marketing officer Jennifer Giddens. Grant-Selma is a veteran of the business who has previously held top roles at Universal Pictures, Live Nation Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation. Giddens has been an exec at Universal Kids and Netflix’s kids and family division.

While executive turnover after a merger isn’t normally a huge deal, when combined with the endless chaos and wild decisions (like canceling a highly-anticipated $90 million superhero movie and laying off 70 percent of your streaming network’s staff) coming from Warner Bros. Discovery, it does lead to some questions about what the company has planned for OWN.

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With Queen Sugar set to end following its upcoming seventh season, and Warner Bros. Discovery more focused on unscripted content, it feels like the network will follow the lead of TBS/TNT and move away from scripted series. If that is the plan, then things are even worse than anyone expected.

We previously reported at The Root that the LeBron James-produced House Party reboot has been taken off HBO Max’s schedule, with no new plan announced for the film. The studio has also canceled Tracy Morgan’s TBS comedy The Last O.G., and will end the TNT drama Snowpiercer with its upcoming fourth season.

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While Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav obviously has plenty of brands to ruin, particularly the DC Extended Universe, he needs to keep his supervillain hands away from our Black content. We don’t have very many networks that make quality programming specifically for Black audiences, so maybe he can just let us have OWN and go crazy over at TLC.

And by the way, leave Sesame Street alone. On Friday, Variety reported that 200 episodes of Sesame Street had been taken off HBO Max.

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Seriously, who has a problem with Big Bird and Snuffleupagus!?