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CEO David Zaslav: Strikes Rescued Warner Bros. Discovery, Leading to Savings Exceeding $100 mill.

by Venus Sanders

The ongoing joint Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes have created economic uncertainty in the entertainment industry, affecting movie theaters, creatives, and various stakeholders. However, while many are feeling the financial strain, studios like Warner Bros. Discovery seem to be faring well. The company recently announced significant savings during the second quarter, with CEO David Zaslav revealing that they have saved in the "low $100 million range."

This comes after Netflix's report to investors that it saved a staggering $1.5 billion this year by pausing productions. With the strike affecting only the writers during the April 1 to June 30 period, Warner Bros. Discovery shared these figures in its Q2 earnings call. While the Writers Guild of America is returning to the negotiating table with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), there is currently no scheduled meeting between the studios and actors. Nevertheless, Warner Bros. Discovery estimates that the strike could end as early as September, a far more optimistic projection compared to the six-month forecast provided by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher.

During the earnings call, CEO David Zaslav emphasized the significance of the creative community in the storytelling business. He expressed the company's commitment to empowering and enabling writers, directors, editors, producers, actors, and the entire below-the-line crew to create compelling and inspiring stories for audiences. Zaslav hopes that all sides involved will return to the negotiating table soon and that the strikes will be resolved in a manner that ensures fair compensation for writers and actors, recognizing their valuable contributions.

Zaslav acknowledged the complexities of the current world and the challenges of finding a resolution quickly. He stressed the importance of finding a solution in good faith, one that acknowledges the creative community's contributions and compensates them fairly. Warner Bros. Discovery is keen on reaching an agreement that satisfies the needs of all parties involved, reflecting the company's dedication to supporting and valuing the creative talent essential to the entertainment industry's success.


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