Steven Spielberg attends the 55th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards at InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images Entertainment | fake images
Discovery by Warner Bros. is calling on a film director to help lead selection and programming for its Turner Classic Movies cable TV channel, after a management shakeup left fans worried about the future of the network.
“Jaws” director Steven Spielberg, “Goodfellas” director Martin Scorsese and “Boogie Nights” filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson have officially signed on to provide input on TCM, the company and filmmakers said Wednesday. . The filmmakers will work closely with Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, who are overseeing curation and programming after a series of layoffs and management changes at TCM, according to the company.
“We have already begun working on ideas with Mike and Pam, both true film enthusiasts who share a passion and reverence for classic cinema that is the hallmark of the TCM community,” the three filmmakers said in a joint statement Wednesday. “This unique arrangement, pioneered by David Zaslav, reflects his commitment to honoring the legacy of TCM while also engaging us in curation and programming.”
The filmmakers’ inclusion came after employees at Warner Bros. Discovery last week faced another round of layoffs, particularly at its portfolio of cable TV networks.
Part of that was a huge shakeup at TCM, renowned as a place for the preservation of classic movies and a handpicked lineup augmented by guest star introductions. The changes had caused concern among moviegoers and those dedicated to film preservation, who expressed their anguish on social media.
The filmmakers also applauded that longtime head of programming Charles Tabesh, who was initially slated to leave as part of the shakeup, will stay with the network.
David Zaslav, CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery.
Anjali Sundaram | CNBC
Last week, the filmmakers said in a statement that Zaslav contacted and reassured them, and that they were committed to working with the company for the future of TCM.
Since the 2022 merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery, the company has been undergoing a series of cost-cutting initiatives, including layoffs and cuts in content spending.
In the months leading up to the job cuts and changes at networks including TCM, Zaslav and Spielberg held talks about the future of TCM, according to a person familiar with the matter. Zaslav also started the conversation with Spielberg, Scorsese and Anderson last week.
Spielberg and Anderson joined Zaslav on a panel during the TCM Classic Film Festival in April about film preservation efforts, according to media reports.
Warner Bros. Discovery and its movie bosses recently touted the company’s biggest investment in TCM.
“TCM is a cultural treasure that WBD is fully committed to safeguarding, supporting and investing in for the future. This year, investment in TCM content has grown by 30% and we plan to build on that for years to come,” a spokesperson for the WBD said. company. in a sentence. “That said, TCM is not immune to the very real pressure on the entire linear ecosystem, but we have taken steps to ensure we stay true to the network’s mission: to bring more titles to the air, drive investment in content, and preserve and protect the culture of cinema”.
The increased investment will go toward licensing new movies and bringing a broader list online, according to the person familiar with the matter.