11:44am PT by Rick Porter
HBO Closing Long Island Facility, Layoffs Expected
HBO is shutting down its broadcast operations facility on New York's Long Island, potentially affecting as many as 200 employees there.
The premium cable network says it will close its Hauppauge Communications Center by the end of 2019. A number of the employees there will be asked to move to HBO's new digs in Manhattan's Hudson Yards development. Other jobs, however, will be moved to Atlanta, where HBO parent WarnerMedia also has facilities, and will result in 75 positions being eliminated.
"With two new state-of-the-art facilities now existing in Hudson Yards and Atlanta, the services out of the Hauppauge Communications Center will become redundant so the plan is to close the center by year's end," HBO said Wednesday in a statement. "We are asking many employees from the Long Island-based departments to transition to Hudson Yards, which has been designed to support post-production needs on original programming as well as our digital distribution platforms. However, the broadcast operations which originated out of Hauppauge will now come out of Atlanta. This will result in the elimination of some positions in New York."
The planned move to Hudson Yards predates AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, which resulted in the creation of WarnerMedia.
HBO also recently offered early retirement to some veteran employees as it comes under the WarnerMedia umbrella. WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said the buyouts were "in the interest of costs and operating efficiencies"; thus far HBO is the only WarnerMedia unit where employees have been offered early retirement packages.
WarnerMedia has hired former NBC head Bob Greenblatt as chairman of the company's entertainment and direct-to-consumer businesses. He will oversee HBO and the former Turner entertainment brands (TNT, TBS and TruTV), along with the company's forthcoming streaming service.