EXCLUSIVE: Brett Weitz is leaving as General Manager Of TNT, TBS, & truTV. He will be transitioning out of his role in the next 30 days, with his last day marking his 14th anniversary at the TNets.
Weitz’s departure comes weeks after the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger was completed as his position has been eliminated following the restructure 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. ”
Weitz, a well liked veteran TV executive, was named General Manager Of TNT, TBS, & truTV in October 2019. In his role, he managed all three nets, helping TNT and TBS to maintain their positions as the # 1 and # 2 networks in prime among all cable entertainment networks and truTV among the youngest and most affluent. Some of Weitz’s recent accomplishments include the development and launch of scripted hits Snowpiercer, spirit Chad; the milestone 300th episode of American Dadthe 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 Jokerswhich launched multiple series and a major motion picture.
In his previous role as EVP Programming for TBS, Weitz was integral in revitalizing the network’s comedy brand with The Last OG, which recently ended after four seasons, as well as late-night’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Weitz previously served as SVP Scripted Development for TBS and TNT, where he developed a range of hit series including The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles spirit Dallas.
Weitz also developed defined brand lanes for the three TNets – TBS ‘always here for a good time, TNT’s always here for a thrill ride and truTV’s always here for a good laugh – which collectively delivered six of the top 10 comedies, two of the top dramas and eight of the top 10 performing movies each year. Additionally, Weitz championed the MORE initiative, a multifaceted campaign highlighting content that celebrates all cultures and showcases diverse stories and voices.
The writing has been on the wall as TNT and TBS started pulling away from original scripted programming shortly after the merger was completed, with the leadership of Warner Bros. Discovery making their first major cost-cutting moves at the TNets by dramatically changing their programming makeup.
New comedy series Kill the Orange-Faced Bear starring Damon Wayans Jr. was axed a week before it was to start production and new scripted development was suspended. Obliterated, a new series from Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald, which had been ordered by TBS, recently moved to Netflix. Additionally, TNT and TBS just dropped the SAG Awards after more than two decades.
Weitz had already steered the three linear networks through a process of transformation. There had been a scale-back in scripted pilot and series orders at the TNets over the past year and a half as the networks at the same time have beefed up their unscripted entertainment fare and sports offerings while continuing to rely on acquired content. Still, Weitz, a respected development executive who worked at Columbia Tri-Star Television, 20th Century Fox Television, and fox21 before joining Turner, had remained committed to scripted programming.
WarnerMedia’s linear basic cable networks had been identified as prime cost-cutting targets for Warner Bros. Discovery, with more departures and layoffs expected.