Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav, who will lead the merged entity Warner Bros. Discovery, is slated begin making his rounds to WarnerMedia company offices around the country to address employees this week, an individual with knowledge of WarnerMedia told TheWrap.
The merger, announced in May, closed on Friday.
Zaslav’s travel agenda will take him to WarnerMedia’s global headquarters in New York on Monday, Warner Bros. offices in Atlanta on Tuesday, WarnerMedia/HBO offices in Culver City on Wednesday, and concluding with a town hall at WarnerMedia offices on the iconic Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, according to the individual. Another source who asked not to be named said the tour will also include Washington D.C.
An expected topic will be layoffs, as reports by Insider and other sources reported that the merger of AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery would include at least $3 billion of annual “cost synergies,” a term which is often synonymous with layoffs.
Zaslav did not address the issue of layoffs in his statement when the deal closed on Friday, instead opting to pump up the creative potential of the merged entity.
“Today’s announcement marks an exciting milestone not just for Warner Bros. Discovery but for our shareholders, our distributors, our advertisers, our creative partners and, most importantly, consumers globally,” said Zaslav in his statement. “With our collective assets and diversified business model, Warner Bros. Discovery offers the most differentiated and complete portfolio of content across film, television and streaming,” he continued. “We are confident that we can bring more choice to consumers around the globe while fostering creativity and creating value for shareholders. I can’t wait for both teams to come together to make Warner Bros. Discovery the best place for impactful storytelling.”
The changing of the guard has already been felt at WarnerMedia, as executives including WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, networks group CEO and chair Ann Sarnoff and HBO Max head Andy Forssell are all exiting the company. The list represented a mix of voluntary and involuntary departures.
Zaslav announced on Thursday that Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich, HBO/HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys, and Warner Television chairman Channing Dungey will continue in their respective roles, reporting to Zaslav. WarnerMedia’s international president Gerhard Zeiler will also continue in the same role.