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Warner Bros. Discovery’s Karen Horne on Workshop Reversal!

This happened less than 24 hours after the Directors Guild of America challenged Warner Bros. Television Group to close its long-running workshops for writers and directors. Warner Bros. Discovery announced that the workshops weren’t dead after all. They were just being moved from the TV division to the company’s corporate DEI team.

WBD senior vice president Karen Horne, now U.S. lead for DEI due to the team’s recent restructuring, says she made it clear to leadership that her goal was always to bring all of the company’s pipeline programs under the DEI division.

The WBD Access portfolio already includes development programs in categories like animation, comedy, games, news and sports, post-production, and unscripted, and Horne says she would make sure there was a place for any entry-level TV writing and

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Karen Horne on Workshop Reversal

Horne joined what was then called WarnerMedia in 2020 to run pipeline programs. He had done the same thing for a long time at NBCUniversal and, before that at Nickelodeon and Disney. At NBCU, she started programs like Female Forward and Emerging Directors, which set new standards for programs that train people to work in the industry by guaranteeing each participant a job in an episode.

She talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how the old WBTV workshops will look now that they are run by a different company.

When Can We Expect the Workshops to Come Back?

We will try to follow the schedule of the current workshops as closely as possible, but I won’t promise that it will be the exact same schedule. Productions now happen all year long, and while the current program helps broadcast, we don’t have to ensure that’s the case when it comes to writing or directing.

I want to ensure that we’re not just racing against time to get it done but that we’re building a bigger, more robust platform. Also, we will be in charge of the program’s growth. It will be just as strong and maybe even broader because we will also work with our TNet partners, HBO Max, for which Warner Bros. Television Group already makes a lot of shows.

Will the Workshop Changes Potentially Include Expanding Beyond Episodic Scripted?

Yes, for the program in directing. My team was already trying to make a program for running without a script. We also talked with the Discovery teams about a showrunner program for scripted shows [Editor’s note: WBD Access started a showrunner program for mid to senior-level writers in April].


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We’d like to build something similar for unscripted shows as well. We’d love to work with Discovery to help it grow even more.

Are You Retaining the Staff From the Workshops?

The WBTV team had two people who won’t join my team because I didn’t have enough room for them. However, Grace Moss, who worked with me on Female Forward at NBC, now leads Pipeline Programs. We now have a bigger team at Pipeline. We have more programs, but we will make sure we have more people when we restructure.


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