Warner Bros. Discovery is “absolutely, not for sale”, says David Zaslav

David Zaslav

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav has denied that the newly merged company is for sale, amid recent cost-cutting measures and mass staff layoffs.

WBD has been undergoing extensive restructuring since Discovery completed its $43bn merger with WarnerMedia in April, since when the media giant has been seeking to make $3bn in savings.

Its share price has also tumbled from $25 at launch to less than $12 at close of play yesterday, but Zaslav firmly rebuked any suggestion the company would be sold.

“We are not for sale, absolutely, not for sale,” Zaslav said during a company-wide online town hall session yesterday.

While the WBD CEO did not specify which, if any, particular company was exploring an acquisitions, US reports suggest he was addressing recent speculation that Comcast could be interested in merging with his firm.

Recent moves have seen WBD selling its stake in joint-venture German streamer Joyn and removing content from its HBO Max service, including both original and acquired content, in a bid to cut costs.

Staff cuts have hit every level of the merged business, with recent exits including senior OWN execs, and the impending disbanding of HBO Max’s EMEA originals team, as production on original shows has been halted in countries across the region.

Meanwhile, the widespread restructuring has seen the departure of senior and veteran execs, including president of global business and legal affairs Marc Graboff; French distribution exec Caroline Lang; and Norwegian chief, Espen Skoland, in recent days.

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