What David Zaslav Has Planned for First Week Leading Warner Bros. Discovery

President CEO Discovery David Zaslav speaks during the Discovery Network TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

David Zaslav will be pounding the Diet Cokes, his soft drink of choice, this week as he sprints across the country to Warner Bros. Discovery’s various outposts.

Monday, the first day the new company begins trading on the Nasdaq under the “WBD” ticker, will kick off with a visit to Hudson Yards for a series of informal meet and greets with WarnerMedia employees before he heads to Washington, D.C. for a meeting with senior executives and CNN anchors at roughly 6 p.m. On Tuesday, Zaslav will visit the company’s Atlanta headquarters.

Later this week, the media mogul will jet to Los Angeles where he will hold a company-wide town hall meeting that will be attended by staffers on the lot. Warner Bros. Discovery employees across the globe will also be able to access the meeting virtually.

It should be noted Zaslav’s plans are fluid and could change.

The whirlwind week comes after Discovery closed its $43 billion merger on Friday. The deal sees AT&T exit the company after four tumultuous years at the helm. The combined companies boast as list of top entertainment brands that includes Warner Bros. film studio, HBO, TNT, CNN, as well as Food Network, HGTV, TLC and Animal Planet. The bet is that will give the media conglomerate the kind of heft it needs to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney, and will allow it to thrive in the streaming wars.

Zaslav hosted calls with some senior staffers on Friday. According to two sources that spoke with Variety, during these calls, Zaslav addressed the fact that as part of the $3 billion in cost saving synergies he has pledged to find for Warner Bros. Discovery, there will be layoffs. He mentioned that some jobs will be duplicative and will be eliminated, but did not go into detail at that time.