Warner Bros. Discovery is “not for sale, absolutely, not for sale.”
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has recently made it clear to the company’s employees that he is not considering selling Warner Bros. Discovery despite cost-cutting moves and layoffs.
Zaslav’s statement is in response to the rumors borne from a report from The Hollywood Reporter that suggested that Warner Bros. Discovery would be merged with Comcast.
President and CEO, Discovery, Inc. David Zaslav speaks onstage during the Discovery, Inc. TCA Winter Panel 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 16, 2020 in Pasadena, California.
Warner Bros. Discovery Rumor Disproving Details
Zaslav mentioned in a company-wide town hall meeting over Zoom that Warner Bros. Discovery is not for sale after laying out its current predicament and the circumstances it is facing, per Deadline.
Interestingly, the company-wide Zoom meeting included 40,000 of its employees worldwide, according to a Variety report.
“We are not for sale,” Zaslav said to his employees during the meeting. “We have everything we need to be successful.”
According to people familiar with the meeting, Zaslav didn’t mention which company he was referring to when he was discussing the potential sale, but many assumed he was referring to Comcast.
The Verge cited a Hollywood report published in mid-September saying that “top industry executives” were “convinced” that Warner Bros. Discovery would be the target of an acquisition-merger deal from Comcast, the company behind NBCUniversal and the Peacock streaming service.
The rumors of an impending acquisition-merger deal with Comcast are not unfounded. The company has recently gone through a gauntlet of cost-cutting and layoffs to reduce costs.
It first removed some Max Original films from HBO Max, which resulted in the removal of six Warner. Bros. movies, including the sci-fi rom-com “Moonshot.”
The company then proceeded to cancel the almost complete movie “Batgirl” due to its leadership’s “strategic shift,” according to Esquire. This cancellation was eventually followed by the company laying off 14% of its employees in several units, resulting in the loss of 70 employees.
How War Bros. Discovery Will Bounce Back
Despite these setbacks, Zaslav is optimistic that Warner Bos. Discovery will become successful soon.
During the meeting, he discussed his plans to restore the company’s film output to between 15 to 20 releases annually across all genres.
Zaslav also highlighted the importance of linear marketing and “promotional muscle” across internal platforms, which led to the success of many films such as “Elvis,” “Don’t Worry, Darling,” and “House of the Dragon.”
Additionally, he said that Warner Bros. discovery’s linear cable networks were the key to gaining revenue and promotion for HBO/HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Other top Warner Bros. executives who were also present for the meeting showcased their successes during the meeting.
For isntance, Warner Bros. TV topper Canning Dungey said that her studio would “sell quite a bit” to HBO Max and to other outlets and platforms.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. flim chiefs Micahel De Luca and Pamela Abdy said they are building a full film slate to fulfill Zaslav’s plan of releasing 15 to 20 movies annually, along with making the Warner Bros. film studio “a place that creatives want to work with.”