Discovery CEO David Zaslav is in Los Angeles meeting with executives at Warner Bros. ahead of the media company (and him) assuming operational control of the studio and the other WarnerMedia business units, HBO and Turner, in 2022.
Speaking Sept. 21 at the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Zaslav said he has spent the past two weeks in the Southland familiarizing himself with the venerable studio, executives and staff.
“The more I look at Warner has, what HBO has, and see what [Warner boss] Ann [Sarnoff], [AT&T CEO] John [Stankey] and [WarnerMedia CEO] Jason [Kilar] have been doing, together, I think we have the best IP menu in the world,” Zaslav said. “We’re working hard at what this [Warner Bros. Discovery] company will look like.”
Zaslav said he spending two weeks a month in Southern California attending studio and off-site meetings with executives and lawyers.
“There was a lot we couldn’t see and couldn’t talk about [until the $43 deal billion closes],” he said, adding that on the Discovery integration team the company has 182 “work streams” in motion ahead of the merger.
What the Warner Bros. Discovery direct-to-consumer products, i.e. HBO Max and Discovery+, will look like remains a work in progress Zaslav said he couldn’t discuss in further detail. At the end of the most-recent fiscal period, HBO and HBO Max had a combined 47 million subscribers, while Discovery+ had 18 million subs.
“Now, we’re going to position ourselves, so when we close we can affect that strategy and drive ourselves onto ever [streaming] device around the world,” he said.