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Rooster Teeth Shut Down By Warner Bros. Discovery, The Roost Podcast Network To Continue

A pioneer in digital content creation is going away. Rooster Teeth, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment, announced this morning that it is ceasing operations after 21 years. The process starts today and is expected to take several months.

The news was announced at an all-hands company meeting and shared in an internal memo by Rooster Teeth general manager Jordan Levin.

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“It’s with a heavy heart I announce that Rooster Teeth is shutting down due to challenges facing digital media resulting from fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and monetization across platforms, advertising, and patronage,” Levin said in the email (You can read it in full below).

The Roost Podcast Network will remain in operation “while WBD evaluates outside interest in acquiring this growing asset,” Levin said.

There is Rooster Teeth-branded content in the WBD pipeline, which also will stay put, including a movie that will be released soon by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

WBD also will be exploring options for Rooster Teeth’s catalog content and IP such as Red vs Blue, RWBY and Gen:LOCK.

Founded in 2003 by Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum, Geoff Ramsey, Jason Saldaña, Gus Sorola, and Joel Heyman, Rooster Teeth went through a series of owners, including Fullscreen and Otter Media, and became part of WBD following the acquisition of TimeWarner from AT&T.

Levin noted that WBD “continued its investment in our company, content and community” following the merger.

WBD also continued the Rooster Teeth Digital Creators Program, intended to support underrepresented talent, which had been launched by WarnerMedia.

In an effort to boost revenue by moving consumers to a sponsorship model, Rooster Teeth last fall relocated its content from YouTube to its own website. A potential sale of the company also was explored but many of the companies that had been interested in the brand are no longer in business as the digital entertainment space has been undergoing an unprecedented upheaval.

“Monetization shifts, platform algorithms, advertising challenges, and the ebb and flow of patronage—all these converging factors have led to many closures in the industry,” Levin noted in his memo.

After exploring other options, WBD went for a shutdown.

“Warner Bros. Discovery thanks Rooster Teeth’s groundbreaking creators and partners, and the strong management team, for their many years of success,” the company said in a statement. “Your passionate and loyal fans are testament to your achievements.”

In his memo, Levin spotlighted the legacy of Rooster Teeth.

“We set a standard for what a digital-first brand could be,” he said. “We boldly took our content beyond screens and into community-driven experiences.”

Rooster Teeth’s run is bookmarked by Red vs. Blue, the company’s first production. The show, which launched in April 2003 and is one of the longest-running episodic web series ever, also is coming to an end.

“Though not intentional, It’s only appropriate that our last season of Red vs. Blue coincides with us navigating this closure together,” Levin said.

Here is his memo:

Dear Rooster Teeth,

Since our founders created and uploaded their first video on the then-called World Wide Web in 2003, Rooster Teeth has been a source of creativity, laughter, and lasting innovation in the wildly volatile media industry.

We’ve read the headlines about industry-wide layoffs and closures, and you’ve heard me give my perspective and updates on the rapidly changing state of media and entertainment during each of our monthly All Hands meetings.

Since inheriting ownership and control of Rooster Teeth from AT&T following its acquisition of TimeWarner, Warner Bros. Discovery continued its investment in our company, content and community. Now however, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that Rooster Teeth is shutting down due to challenges facing digital media resulting from fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and monetization across platforms, advertising, and patronage.

Please note that the Roost team is not currently impacted by this action. The Roost Podcast Network will continue operating and fulfilling its obligations while WBD evaluates outside interest in acquiring this growing asset.

In the coming days and weeks, we will have many questions to answer and the opportunity to work together to implement the best way to wind things down for us and our community. We’re working through what comes next in real time, and we will be as open, direct, and accessible as possible. Thank you all in advance for your patience and support of one another.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate our 21-year contribution to the zeitgeist, advancing creativity and outlasting many of our peers from the early days of online video and digital-first content.

TO A CREATIVE LEGACY

From a garage in Buda, TX, to global screens large and small, our teams of dreamers and doers have introduced and grown what made Rooster Teeth stand out: animation, comedy, and gaming. From new forms of animated comedy with machinima to countless viral memes, including the Immortal Snail (aka Snail Assassin), to a US-born animated series embraced by Japan as anime, and record-breaking (at the time) crowdfunded movies. You’ve accomplished so much and made dreams come true here. You’ve turned original IP into video games, comic books, and VTubers. You’ve directed short videos, mo-cap, and films. You’ve puppeteered, hosted podcasts, and have built a thriving community that spans the globe. Your creativity knows no bounds, and you’ll continue contributing significantly to culture wherever your paths may take you.

TO THOSE WHO COME FIRST

Despite passing through many corporate owners, Rooster Teeth transcended a media business and was a dynamic movement that shaped the bond between communities, creators, and storytelling. Our founders didn’t have a blueprint for a media empire, but they got close to building one alongside a community that fueled its remarkable growth. In its earliest days, RT relied on community sponsorship through time, dollars, and unwavering passion. Volunteers evolved into staff, and the snowball effect grew, resulting in new relationships, marriages, births, and shared experiences that have changed lives.

TO TRAILBLAZING CONTENT CREATION

Our approach to content creation on emerging platforms paved the way for new media models. We inspired generations of creators across streaming, machinima, animation, let’s plays, merch drops, touring, podcasting, and more. Companies like GameStop, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and TikTok asked us to collaborate with them in their earliest days because we set a standard for what a digital-first brand could be. We boldly took our content beyond screens and into community-driven experiences.

TO A CHANGING INDUSTRY

Every story reaches its final pages. Rooster Teeth’s closure isn’t merely an end; it reflects broader business dynamics. Monetization shifts, platform algorithms, advertising challenges, and the ebb and flow of patronage—all these converging factors have led to many closures in the industry. While we learn about updates on programming day by day, we will share our plans for shows, franchises, partnerships, and merch soon and share those updates with teams internally and with the community on RoosterTeeth.com.

TO OUR FINAL SEASON

Though not intentional, It’s only appropriate that our last season of “Red vs. Blue” coincides with us navigating this closure together. Our legacy is not just a collection of content but a history of pixels burned into our screens, minds, and hearts. Rooster Teeth has made an indelible mark on the media industry, and we should be so proud of the countless ways we pioneered a business connecting creators and content with a dedicated community.

With respect, gratitude, and sincere appreciation,

Jordan Levin

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