The cuts to the new Warner Bros. Discovery keep coming.
Absent from the newly merged company is Tom Ascheim, the former chairman of Freeform who joined WarnerMedia in April 2020. The executive’s role as chairman of Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics at WarnerMedia has been eliminated. Ascheim previously oversaw Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim and Warner Bros. Animation. The executive, who also added oversight of Warners Harry Potter franchise and JK Rowling’s Wizarding World properties, will not be replaced.
With Discovery’s Kathleen Finch assigned to oversee WarnerMedia’s linear networks, Ascheim’s role was eliminated. Ascheim is the second WarnerMedia executive to be shown the door following the reorganization of Warner Bros. Discovery, with TNT, TBS and TruTV GM Brett Weitz also leaving the company. The two will remain for a brief transition period.
Ascheim was handpicked by Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros., whom he previously worked with at Nickelodeon where he was part of the team that created Noggin. Ascheim was Noggin’s first employee and general manager. Sources say the duo have remained friendly ever since.
“I’ve been blessed to spend two incredibly exciting years rejuvenating some of the world’s most iconic franchises and IPs, and helping to create a vision for kids, young adults and classics within Warner Bros. Well that now is the time for me to move on, I hope the new leadership team at Warner Bros. Discovery will continue to nurture future generations of fans and the incredible teams that are so committed to these brands,” Ascheim said in a statement Wednesday.
In a similar vein, Johanna Fuentes, global executive vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at Warner Bros., was also fired. She had reported to former Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff. His role will not be replaced amid a bigger public relations shakeup at Warner Bros. Discovery.
Fuentes joined Warners in April 2020, replacing Dee Dee Myers in the role. Fuentes came to Warners to oversee all of the company’s global communications after spending a decade at the top of Showtime’s public relations ranks. Before joining the premium cable network in 2010, Fuentes held positions at Bravo and the Smithsonian Channel. Fuentes was among those that Justice League actor Ray Fisher distinct after claiming the Warners PR team “failed to bury him” when investigating his allegations against Joss Whedon.
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