With WarnerMedia Merger, Discovery Chief David Zaslav Says He's Moving to L.A
David Zaslav is relocating from New York to the Left Coast. The CEO of Discovery said he would primarily be based in Los Angeles by the time the deal is expected to close in mid-2022.
Zaslav said that he's moving to California, because of the content made in the Warner Bros. lot. He said a lot of work and will have an office on the Broadcast, where the company'll be the world' leading media company.
Zaslav, interviewed by New Yorker Media writer Ken Auletta at Paley event, said he'll be very hands-on in the merged media and entertainment company, calling the gig a dream, surreal opportunity.
One change that appears to be certain is that the CEO of the newly merged media company Jason Kilar will be out.
The telco will receive $43 billion in cash to pay down debt. Last week, Discovery said that the combined entity will have a debt ratio of 4.5 times annual earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization, down from ten times EBITDA.
While in Paley's interview, he described the company'd formidable rivals as a separate focus. However, Zaslav hasnt detailed how the go-to-market strategy could change under one roof, and outlined the potential for upcoming Netflix movies, which despite remarking that the combined Discovery-WarnerMedia have broader content library than Netflix.
In its Q3 report, Discovery said it had 20 million paid direct-to-consumer streaming subscribers worldwide, including for Discovery Plus. In the third quarter, AT&T reported that HBO and HBO Max subscribers had 69.4 million combined global subs, up 1.9 million sequentially, and the global expansion offset a U.S. loss of revenue related to the discontinuation of HBOs distribution on Amazon Prime Channels.
The Discovery chief avowed that news is largely important in the global portfolio, explaining why the company invested in GB News earlier this year.
Asked about Fox News Channel, Zaslav responded that it is "much more an advocacy network than a news network," adding that Discoverys Food Network and HGTV are "advocacy networks" that appeal to fans of these lifestyle subjects.