Gunnar Wiedenfels: Celebs Rumors


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Warner Bros. Discovery’s Zaslav Shows New Combative Streak, Tweaking Media Rivals
Brian Steinberg Senior TV Editor David Zaslav sounds tired of taking lumps. After months of cost cutting, write-downs, and getting pilloried among Hollywood natives for killing projects, the Warner Bros. Discovery chief showed off some new truculence, making the case that while his newly-merged company has been having a tough time, so too were others. “‘Last year was a year of restructuring,” said Zaslav, during a call with investors Thursday. “This year will be a year of building.” Over the course of an hour, Zasalv and Gunnar Wiedenfels, Warner’s chief financial officer, made the case that their company was just as well-equipped as any of its rivals — perhaps even more so — to withstand a stormy era during which media companies are pressed to grow their streaming operations but maintain profitability. Zaslav elbowed Netflix for releasing all of the episodes for a program’s cycle all at once; suggested that a move to launch new “Lord of the Rings” movies would take away some of the momentum that Amazon had enjoyed from its launch of a series based on the novels; and told listeners Warner Bros. Discovery could launch an ad-supported streaming service without having to buy an outside asset, as Fox Corp. and Paramount Global had. “We can create a Tubi or a Pluto without having to buy anybody,” he boasted.