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WBD’s David Zaslav discusses “generational disruption”, cost reductions, and strikes in a New York interview.

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Source: Warner Bros Discovery

David Zaslav

Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav discussed “generational disruption”, rebuilding, and the strike in an on-stage interview in New York on Wednesday, according to trade reports.

Zaslav told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook Summit that the end of the dual Hollywood strikes and drastic cost-cutting measures at WBD were positionng the company for growth in the year ahead.

The executive noted that since the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia WBD has repaid $12bn in debt and made “a lot of very difficult decisions”.

“We had to move a lot faster than we probably wanted to, because this is a generational disruption,” said Zaslav, referring to upended entertainment business models amid the expensive rise of streaming and decline in traditional linear television.

Zaslav addressed write-downs on features, another tactic the company has used to save on costs in cases like the Batgirl film, which was shelved.

“The Warner Brothers team and HBO made a number of decisions. They were hard, but when I look at the health of our company today, we needed to make those decisions and it took real courage.”

Turning to the strikes, the CEO said his focus was to end the work stoppages. “I fought, and [Disney CEO] Bob Iger. The executive was quoted in a New York Times interview

as saying that he agreed with the Writers Guild of America, and believed they were right about “almost everything”. On Wednesday, he said that he also applied to SAG-AFTRA.

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