David Zaslav used to charm Wall Street. Now he’s running a debt-laden media company that one observer described as a “dumpster fire.” Just how hot things are getting for the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO will become clear after it reports fourth-quarter earnings Thursday — Zaslav’s third outing as the combined company’s chief.
The competitive pressure to scale up and compete with Netflix’s ballooning content budget drove AT&T to spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery, creating a film and TV giant with a bulked-up streaming library. But even as the deal got done last year investors were already changing their tune.