Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav continued to defend the deep cuts to the company’s animation and streaming lineups during today’s earnings call, signaling that more could be on the way after absorbing a $2.8 billion net loss in the most recent quarter.
“Spending money with abandon all in the service of building sub numbers is in our view deeply flawed,” Zaslav said during the call.
His comments follow a period in which Warner Bros Discovery has aggressively slashed its animated offerings, canceled movies like Batgirl, and removed shows and movies from services like HBO Max.
Zaslav defended these cuts, saying “we’ve learned what doesn’t work” and that the service is “getting the content that isn’t working off.” He reiterated WB Discovery’s stance against direct-to-streaming movies, saying they “do almost nothing” for viewership and retention, and that WB Discovery would be focusing on franchises going forward.
“The audience will tell you what they love. They’ll spend time with it and they’ll watch it and rewatch it,” Zaslav said. He later added, “We’re trying to be deliberate about the shows that are helping us.”
Both Zaslav and WB Discovery streaming and games CEO JB Perette hinted that big changes are on the way as the company continues to weather the shock of its merger. That’s likely to include the price of HBO Max, which has remained stable for three years now but will soon be heading “north” according to Perette. Zaslav also revealed that the company’s newly-combined HBO Max and Discovery service will be launching in Spring 2023 rather than Summer as planned.
Zaslav repeatedly referred to what he described as a “challenging environment,” saying that Warner Bros. has “conviction” and that “we’re getting through this.”
Zaslav himself has received enormous criticism for creatives and audience members alike for WB’s restructuring, which has resulted in layoffs, high-profile departures, and conflicting visions for the future from its biggest franchises.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.