Discovery Communications Inc. plans to offer voluntary buyouts to U.S. employees as part of a cost-saving plan.

The cable-network operator will incur expenses of $40 million to $60 million for severance pay and other costs related to personnel moves, according to a filing Wednesday.

The buyouts and other cost-cutting initiatives will help Discovery be more competitive and invest in growth areas, Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav said in memo to employees. Cable networks are spending more on programming in the hopes of producing must-watch shows that demand higher rates from pay-TV providers like Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc.

Discovery is scheduled to report first-quarter results Thursday morning. Its shares fell 1.5 percent to $26.59 at the close and are little changed for the year.

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