Brett Weitz, the General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV, is stepping down. In the next 30 days, he will be transitioning out of his role, with his last day marking his 14th anniversary with the TNets.
Weitz’s retirement comes just weeks after the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, as his post was dissolved as part of a reshuffle of the US Networks Group Division under Discovery’s Kathleen Finch, who added TNets to her portfolio.
“These past 14 years have been the most fulfilling of my career,” Weitz said. “I’ve had the great fortune to create and launch Emmy-winning fan-favorite entertainment, to be a part of powerful life-changing initiatives, and most importantly to have had the privilege to lead the most talented, dedicated, altruistic, and innovative team at the TNets. We made huge profits for shareholders and brilliant content for fans while having the most fun and being better partners with talent than any team I’ve ever been a part of. I will for sure continue to root for you all.”
In October 2019, Weitz, a well-liked senior TV executive, was named General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV. He oversaw all three networks in his job, assisting TNT and TBS in maintaining their positions as the #1 and #2 primetime networks among all cable entertainment networks, respectively, and truTV among the youngest and wealthiest. Weitz’s recent achievements include the development and launch of the scripted hits Snowpiercer and Chad; the 300th episode of American Dad; the successful revival of reality series Wipeout; and the growth of two unscripted/sports franchises – AEW, which he expanded into three series across two networks, and Impractical Jokers, which launched multiple series and a major motion picture.
Weitz was instrumental in revitalising TBS’ comedy brand with The Last O.G., which recently wrapped after four seasons, and late-Full night’s Frontal with Samantha Bee in his prior post as EVP Programming. Weitz formerly worked at TBS and TNT as SVP Scripted Development, where he created blockbuster shows like The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles, and Dallas.
Weitz also created distinct brand identities for the three TNets – TBS is always up for a good time, TNT is always up for a thrill ride, and truTV is always up for a good laugh – which each year generated six of the top ten comedies, two of the top dramas, and eight of the top ten performing movies. Weitz also championed the MORE project, a complex campaign that highlights material that honours all cultures and features a varied range of perspectives and stories.
TNT and TBS began moving away from original scripted content quickly after the merger was completed, with Warner Bros. Discovery’s leadership making their first major cost-cutting actions at the TNets by dramatically modifying its programming makeup.
Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, a new comedy series starring Damon Wayans Jr., was cancelled a week before it was set to begin production, and new creative development was halted. TBS had ordered Obliterated, a new series from Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald, however it was just switched to Netflix. In addition, after more than two decades, TNT and TBS have discontinued the SAG Awards.
Weitz had already started the transformation process for the three linear networks. Over the last year and a half, the TNets have reduced their scripted pilot and series orders as they have increased their unscripted entertainment and sports programmes while continuing to rely on purchased content. Despite this, Weitz, a well-known development executive who had worked at Columbia Tri-Star Television, 20th Century Fox Television, and fox21 before joining Turner, remained devoted to written content.
Warner Bros. Discovery has selected WarnerMedia’s linear basic cable networks as top cost-cutting targets, with further departures and layoffs predicted.