Oprah Winfrey Network’s Legal Head Dismissed in Warner Bros. Discovery Layoffs #adessonews
The legal chief for the Oprah Winfrey Network has lost her job as part of another wave of layoffs from parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.
Karen Grant-Selma was dismissed as OWN’s head of business and legal affairs along with three other execs: Mary Beth Cunin, head of programming; Jennifer Giddens, chief marketing officer; and Nicole Nichols, communications chief.
Variety first reported the job cuts, which come after several recent rounds of layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery, or WBD. Earlier this month, for instance, the company laid off about 70 employees at HBO and streaming service HBO Max.
A spokeswoman for OWN confirmed the layoffs. She also noted that Nichols will continue to oversee public relations for Oprah Winfrey and her businesses, including Harpo Inc. Winfrey sold the majority of her stake in OWN to Discovery in 2020.
Attempts to speak with Grant-Selma were not immediately successful.
WBD joins a growing number of companies in a variety of sectors, from crypto and tech to mortgage lending and the automotive industry, that have laid off employees recently, including Apple, Facebook, Robinhood, Coinbase, Ford and Tesla, to name a few.
WBD, created through WarnerMedia’s $43 billion merger with Discovery in April, reported a net income loss of more than $3.4 billion for the second quarter. In addition to the layoffs, WBD has been removing shows from HBO Max as part of apparent cost-cutting efforts.
Grant-Selma took up the reins of OWN’s legal department in 2019. In addition to heading legal and business affairs, she also oversaw the company’s standards and practices, international sales, union administration, insurance, rights management and risk assessment, according to her corporate bio.
She previously worked as VP of business and legal affairs for DreamWorks Animation, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, where she held a similar role earlier in her career. She also served as a legal affairs consultant for NBCUniversal Inc.
In 2018, Grant-Selma joined nearly 2,000 women lawyers who signed a letter supporting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, prior to her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her while they were both in high school.
The full Senate ultimately confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as an associate justice.
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