Jason Kilar, the recently installed chief executive of WarnerMedia, denied on Wednesday that AT&T, Warner’s parent, was interested in selling CNN.
“No, is the short answer,” he said in a virtual forum with employees. “I think we are just getting started.”
The forum was held a day after Warner executed job cuts affecting 5 to 7 percent of its 25,000 employees. (The reductions had been announced in August.) Mr. Kilar, who became chief executive in May with a directive to realign WarnerMedia’s disparate divisions around the HBO Max streaming service, discussed the cuts in a Tuesday staff email that he called “painful to write.”
“We have arrived at a number of difficult decisions that are resulting in a smaller WarnerMedia team,” he wrote. “This is a function of removing layers and the impact of consolidating previously separate organizations.”
Mr. Kilar declined to say during the forum which divisions endured the brunt of the layoffs.
“Please know, these reductions are not in any way a reflection of the quality of the team members impacted, nor their work,” he wrote in his email. “It is simply a function of the changes I believe we must make in order to best serve customers.”
Mr. Kilar, 49, reiterated his commitment to HBO Max, which he said added 2.1 million subscribers in the past quarter — bringing the total to 38 million since the service’s start in May. He also said he was confident the company would ultimately reach deals with Roku and Amazon Fire to make HBO Max available on their devices, but did not give a timetable.
Mr. Kilar, the founding chief executive of Hulu, has long prescribed that Hollywood needs to place consumers first, giving them more control over how and where they consume their media. WarnerMedia will be the place where he can turn his theories into action.
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