Warner Bros. Discovery Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics chief marketing officer Tricia Melton is departing the company, along with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim senior VP of marketing and partnerships Jill King. Their exits rep the latest high-profile departures at the conglom as it continues to cut costs and downsize following the April acquisition of Warner Bros. by Discovery.
Melton’s and King’s exits come just days after Warner Bros. TV Group’s animation division was hit hard by cuts — including the merger of development and main production teams for Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. Both shingles remain, but with a smaller, merged headcount.
Tuesday’s Warner Bros. TV Group cuts impacted 82 staffers; in August, WBD eliminated 70 jobs at HBO/HBO Max, and in September, 100 employees were let go as part of the downsizing of the company’s ad sales departments. The company is in the hunt to ultimately cut costs by $3 billion.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief marketing officer — US Networks Karen Bronzo announced Melton’s and King’s departures in a memo to staffers, noting that the past few months “have been difficult.” She said both execs will remain until the end of the year to help with the transition, and that a new marketing leadership structure for the kids, young adults and classics division will be announced at a later date.
“We are grateful for Tricia and Jill’s contributions to the legacy KYAC businesses and their leadership across these teams,” Bronzo wrote.
Bronzo credited Melton with the rebrand of Cartoon Network, the launch of the new preschool label Cartoonito and on “Rick and Morty” initiatives, as well as a rebrand for TCM . Melton joined WarnerMedia in 2020 from Freeform, following her former Freeform boss Tom Ascheim, who had just joined as president of global kids, young adults and classics. Ascheim exited Warner Bros. Discovery in May following the merger.
“I am so deeply proud of the work we have done together over the past two years,” Melton said in a note to staffers. “If someone asked me before I took this role ‘would you take this position knowing you would have the opportunity to lead this team and these amazing brands, but you could only do it for 2.5 years?’ – my answer would still have been a resounding YES… While this is yet another challenge for our team, it is one I know that you all will meet with courage and conviction.”
As for King, who spent 22 years at the company, Bronzo said the exec’s “impact on Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Toonami has been extraordinary. She helped build hits like ‘The Powerpuff Girls,’ ‘Steven Universe’ and ‘Craig of the Creek.’” King also spearheaded Adult Swim upfront events (which featured some of the biggest names in hip-hop history as performers) and festivals, as well as global brand partnerships and marketing and content-oriented DEI initiatives.
“After 22 years, I can say without a doubt that our work has positively influenced media and culture around the world for current and future generations,” King wrote in her memo to colleagues. “I’m so proud of this marketing team. You have even greater successes ahead and I can’t wait to see all that you achieve. I have loved my time here and I’m excited for what’s next.”