Briefs: WarnerMedia staff cuts, Alton Brown reveals political affiliation; ‘WandaVision’ preview

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Credit: This video includes a shot of Turner from 1979 announcing CNN's creation.

Credit: This video includes a shot of Turner from 1979 announcing CNN's creation.

WarnerMedia on Tuesday said it was going to make deep cuts, certainly impacting its Atlanta operations, which encompass several thousand employees.

“Today, we have arrived at a number of difficult decisions that are resulting in a smaller WarnerMedia team,” CEO Jason Kilar wrote in a note to staff on Tuesday. "Nothing about this is easy. But please know, these reductions are not in any way a reflection of the quality of the team members impacted, nor their work. It is simply a function of the changes I believe we must make in order to best serve customers.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, “more than 1,000 people are expected to be laid off in the latest round of staff reductions,” Ryan Faughnder reported. WarnerMedia currently employs about 25,000, he wrote. Of those, about 6,000 are based in Atlanta, according to a WarnerMedia spokesman.

Spokespeople for WarnerMedia did not respond to email requests for how many employees the company now has in Atlanta. Last year, the number was more than 6,000. Parts of CNN, HLN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, TNT, TBS and TruTV are in Atlanta mostly at CNN Center and the Turner Studio campus in Midtown. The company is focused on a streaming future with its new service HBO Max. (HBO and HBO Max now have 38 million subscribers in the U.S.)

WarnerMedia, purchased by AT&T in 2018, has been going through corporate upheaval at the top lately. Kilar took over for John Stankey as CEO in May. In August, two top TV execs were cut: Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly.

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Alton Brown said he is a Republican but not a fan of Donald Trump.
Alton Brown said he is a Republican but not a fan of Donald Trump.

Credit: Food Network

Credit: Food Network

Atlanta culinary expert and “Good Eats” provocateur Alton Brown for the first time revealed his political affiliation on Twitter, noting he has voted Republican most of his life but is no fan of Donald Trump.

“I have voted Republican most of my life. I consider myself a conservative,” he tweeted. “I want to believe there are still ‘very fine’ people on both sides of the aisle but ... if #GOP leaders don’t get their collective noses out of that man’s [expletive], we’re gonna have words.”

This led to fans on Twitter both supporting him and finding this news problematic. Brown later deleted the Tweet, as well as another one which referenced the Holocaust.

When a fan expressed disappointment in his party affiliation, he responded: “Frankly, you have no right to be disappointed in me. None whatsoever,” Brown hit back. “I have used my own platform to speak my mind. You may dislike me, certainly but disappointment in me should be reserved for say... bad recipes.”

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"WandaVision" is a new upcoming Disney+ TV series debuting this winter. It was shot at Trillith Studios in Fayetteville, Georgia. CR: Disney+
"WandaVision" is a new upcoming Disney+ TV series debuting this winter. It was shot at Trillith Studios in Fayetteville, Georgia. CR: Disney+

Credit: Disney+

Credit: Disney+

“WandaVision,” a new irreverent Disney+ Marvel series shot at what is now called Trillith Studios in Fayetteville, will feature episodes that pay homage to suburban family sitcoms of yore. The first episode is filmed completely in black and white before a live audience, according to Entertainment Weekly, which visited the set when it was shot pre-pandemic. (The cast and crew had to finish the six-episode series in October under COVID protocols.)

“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” explains “WandaVision” head writer Jac Schaeffer to EW. “We’re paying tribute and honoring all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, [but] we’re also trying to blaze new territory.”

Elizabeth Olsen plays a witch Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision, her sweet android, part of the Marvel Comics universe.

The show is expected to debut sometime this winter, but Disney has not announced a specific date.

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