Zaz: "We Are Not Trying To Win The Direct-to-Consumer Spending War”
Warner Bros. Discovery chief says he'll spend less money on buying TV, film, streaming content, plans to slash budgets. Bets fellow CEOs will follow his lead
Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav said he doesn’t plan on getting into a streaming arms race as Hollywood’s big entertainment companies bolster their platforms to woo analysts.
“I know we have the resources but we can plan on being careful and judicious,” he said during the company’s conference with analysts after the Q1 earnings were released.
“As you’ve heard me say, we are not trying to win the direct-to-consumer spending war,” the WBD chief said, instead promising that the newly combined WarnerMedia-Discovery company would “invest in scale smartly.”
He already made the first difficult choice within the first week after Discovery closed its $43 billion acquisitor of the larger WarnerMedia: Zaslav, notorious in the industry for being a no-nonsense cost-cutter, decided to close down the much-hyped CNN+.
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The announcement just three weeks after news streamer’s launch sent shockwaves throughout CNN and the rest of the former Warner businesses about how deep Zaslav will cut. He’s already promising some $3 billion off cost savings that many analysts predict will come from slashing the company’s staff, which consists of 30,000 people. The company had previously pledged $1 billion into developing CNN+ over the next several years, which represents about a third of WBD’s cost-saving goal.