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In a memo to staff on Friday, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav gave a major company-wide shoutout to the team that has worked on Sunday’s “House of the Dragon” premiere, while avoiding any talk of the significant layoffs that hit HBO and streamer HBO Max earlier this week.

In an email obtained by Variety with the subject line “House of the Dragon… Power of Our Team,” Zaslav praised HBO and HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys, HBO head of drama Francesca Orsi, HBO Films’ Janet Graham-Borba, business affairs and production exec Glenn Whitehead and HBO marketing chief Zach Enterlin “and the entire HBO team” for shepherding “what looks to be the next big cultural moment.”

“I had a chance to watch the premiere in Los Angeles with Casey and the team and was blown away by the quality of the production, richness of the story, and power of the action,” Zaslav wrote. “It is something we should all be really proud of, and we cannot wait to share it with audiences worldwide.”

Zaslav noted in the memo that the marketing campaign for the “Game of Thrones” prequel was the largest in HBO history, reaching “nearly 130 million people in the U.S. alone.”

“It has also been exciting to see teams across the company work collaboratively with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign. And we’ve done all of this in just a few short months, clearly showing what we can accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels, all work collectively in support of one shared priority,” Zaslav wrote, referring to the company’s movements since it was founded through the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery in April. “We can really move the needle and I can’t wait to see what we will do on future campaigns when we harness the full reach and unique opportunities we bring to the table.”

On Monday, HBO and HBO Max laid off around 14% of the staff, roughly 70 employees — most in reality programming — under the oversight of Bloys, from across both the premium cable channel and its sister streaming service. The cuts are the most recent in a line of decisions made by Warner Bros. Discovery execs in hopes of fulling the company’s promise of finding $3 billion in cost-saving synergies post-merger.

“Unfortunately, the environment in which we operate is changing rapidly, and it is up to us to continue to refine our model to chart a course for long term success,” Bloys said in a memo to HBO and Max staffers on the heels of the news Monday. “As you heard from David Zaslav during our last earnings call, producing top-tier HBO/Max scripted content is crucial to WBD’s future. Part of this process involves an honest assessment of what we need moving forward.”

See Zaslav’s memo in full below.

All,

One of the strengths of the new Warner Bros. Discovery is our unparalleled ability to connect with fans around the world through our exceptional and diverse storytelling, our trusted, quality brands, our world-class creative leadership, the broad reach of our global platforms, and, most importantly, the incredible contributions of our people. It is amazing to witness what this company can accomplish, fueled by your collective creativity, inspiration, and enthusiasm. We truly are stronger together.

There is no better example of what distinguishes this great company than the extraordinary effort that has gone into Sunday’s highly anticipated global premiere of HBO’s House of the Dragon.

Casey, Francesca, Janet, Glenn, Zach, and the entire HBO team have shepherded what looks to be the next big cultural moment. I had a chance to watch the premiere in Los Angeles with Casey and the team and was blown away by the quality of the production, richness of the story, and power of the action. It is something we should all be really proud of, and we cannot wait to share it with audiences worldwide.

This was the largest marketing campaign in HBO’s history – we reached nearly 130 million people in the U.S. alone. It has also been exciting to see teams across the company work collaboratively with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign. And we’ve done all of this in just a few short months, clearly showing what we can accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels, all work collectively in support of one shared priority. We can really move the needle and I can’t wait to see what we will do on future campaigns when we harness the full reach and unique opportunities we bring to the table.

We are committed to building one team with one mission – the third of three strategic priorities I highlighted in our recent earnings call – and the efforts in support of the launch of House of the Dragon are a great indication of how strong we are and what we can do when we work together. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Congratulations to the outstanding HBO team. We look forward to the start of this exciting new adventure, and to thrilling fans with the kind of buzzworthy cultural moments the Targaryen family is sure to deliver. Enjoy the weekend and hope you tune in on Sunday!

David

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