The chairman-CEO of the newly merged entity made his remarks at a company-wide town hall meeting that was beamed out via Zoom to WB Discovery’s 40,000 employees worldwide. Zaslav’s comments came in response to a question from an employee. WB Discovery was formed in April by the merger of AT&T’s WarnerMedia and the Zaslav-led Discovery. There’s been speculation about more M&A to come for the conglomerate since before the merger agreement was completed.
“We are not for sale,” Zaslav told employees during the 75-minute session, a source confirmed. “We have everything we need to be successful.”
Zaslav spoke from Warner Bros.’ lot in Burbank. He was joined live by Warner Bros. Pictures’ newly appointed film team of Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, Warner Bros. TV Group chairman Channing Dungey and HBO/HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys.
Zaslav discussed the company’s desire to see its annual film output restored to 15 to 20 releases a year, across all genres. He also pointed to the importance of the company’s linear cable networks as an engine of revenue and promotion for HBO/HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Zaslav noted that TNT, TBS, CNN, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, TLC and other linear channels under the WB Discovery roof reach some 30 million U.S. TV households every day. He noted that linear marketing and promotional muscle across internal platforms were crucial to the recent successful launches of “Elvis,” “Don’t Worry Darling” and HBO’s much-anticipated “House of the Dragon.” Moreover, Warner Bros. TV has delivered an Emmy-winning broadcast TV hit with ABC’s “Abbott Elementary.”
The event marked the first town hall that Zaslav has held since soon after the Warner Bros. Discovery deal was finalized in April. He acknowledged the turmoil caused by the merger and the corporate restructuring and layoffs. He told staffers the company is moving “as fast as we can” to finalize hierarchies and staffing levels to get to the other side of the integration process.