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The CEO of Warner Bros. said. Discovery “Not For Sale” – The Hollywood Reporter

Warner Bros. Discovery on Wednesday held a global city hall across the company, with CEO David Zaslav and his chief creative deputy discussing the current state of the company, and their vision of where to go.

Zaslav was joined in the room by HBO chief Casey Bloys, Warner Bros. film chiefs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy and Warner Bros. TV personality Channing Dungey, according to an attendee.

Executives acknowledged the “distractions” and “difficulties that all media companies face” in today’s environment, as well as the “challenges” of integrating WarnerMedia and Discovery, noting that it was “difficult to say goodbye” to colleagues who left the company amid the reorganization. .

And Zaslav also stressed that he and his team are committed to the long term as a “pure game content company,” and are not thinking about making another deal, despite the rumblings of sales talk on the phone.

WBD is “absolutely not for sale,” Zaslav told attendees, highlighting the company’s assets and “global reach.”

“We have everything we need to be successful,” said Zaslav.

Zaslav and other top executives are also touting their respective lines of business, with HBO and HBO Max getting some cheers recently. Dragon House launch.

In fact, Zaslav credits WBD’s traditional linear TV business for helping Game of Thrones The prequel was successful, noting that the network reached more than 30 percent of Americans, giving them a big impact.

At Warner Bros. TV, Dungey said that while the studio will sell a fair amount to HBO Max, it will also continue to sell to other outlets and platforms, particularly citing the success Abbott Elementary School on ABC (which WBTV produces) as an example of what the company can tell third parties.

On the film front, De Luca and Abdy say they are focused on building a full-length film, with the goal of releasing 15-20 theatrical films per year, covering all genres, including romantic comedies, more traditional comedies, gangster films, and other genre features. which has largely been relegated to streaming in recent years.

They also want to make sure that the Warner Bros. film studio is the place that creatives want to work.

City Hall is the first event to feature Zaslav and all of his main creative deputies since the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger concluded in April. From then on he added De Luca and Abdy, and started the process of merging the two companies. And Zaslav is looking for an executive to head up his DC Comics division, to turn the brand into a serious competitor to Marvel Studios.

The company says it will combine HBO Max and Discovery+ in 2023, although many specifics are still TBD.

But there’s also speculation in Hollywood that the company might just be trying to get its ships up for resale as early as 2024 (due to the complicated merger structure, the company couldn’t seek such a large-scale deal before).

Zaslav’s comments at the town hall were clearly meant to dampen that speculation.

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