TNT shuts down production studio


TNT is shuttering its stand-alone production unit and laying off 23 staffers,
including the group's top two executives, President Bob DeBitetto and Senior VP
of programming Julie Weitz.

A new group will be formed within the TNT network umbrella, reporting to
Executive VP and GM Steve Koonin.

The Turner net said the move was made to streamline original productions.

TNT Originals had been structured like an independent studio, reporting to
Turner's president of general entertainment Brad Siegel.

Koonin plans to bring on a new senior level exec to run the new LA-based

The changes should not effect the production schedule.

TNT still has four to six originals slated for next year and six to eight
planned for 2003.