Discovery chief executive David Zaslav on Thursday announced the leadership team for Warner Bros. Discovery, the media conglomerate that will be formed within days when Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia is completed.
A raft of WarnerMedia executives have announced their exits in recent days, including CEO Jason Kilar. But some Warner leaders will be remaining in place, Zaslav said Thursday, including HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys; Warner Bros. Television Group chairman Channing Dungey; and Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich.
Zaslav wrote in an internal memo that “we are establishing a simpler organizational structure with fewer layers, more accountability and more resources focused on the screen.”
“We will work to integrate the organizations and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks to serving consumers while unlocking value for all stakeholders,” he wrote.
Many of the details will be filled in later, once the merger fully takes effect. AT&T (T) commenced its spinoff of WarnerMedia, including CNN, earlier this week, and the merger could “close,” in Wall Street parlance, as early as the end of business Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter.
This would mean the merged company could begin publicly trading on Monday.
Throughout the year-long merger approval process, Zaslav and Discovery had to remain at arms-length from WarnerMedia, so Thursday’s announcements are an early peek into the plans for the new entity.
Zaslav announced that Bruce Campbell, Discovery’s chief development, distribution and legal officer, will oversee all revenue for Warner Bros. Discovery – everything from ad sales to streaming platforms to content licensing. His title will be chief revenue and strategy officer.
JB Perrette, another one of Zaslav’s longtime top lieutenants, will become CEO and president of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, which means he will oversee all of the company’s streaming and gaming offerings.
Kathleen Finch, who currently oversees all of Discovery’s lifestyle cable channels like Food Network, HGTV and TLC, will add oversight of Warner channels like TNT and Cartoon Network. Her title will be chairman and chief content officer of the US Networks Group.
WarnerMedia veteran Gerhard Zeiler will be president of international for the combined company, adding responsibility for Discovery’s networks outside the US.
Discovery veteran David Leavy will be Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, overseeing units like government relations, communications, and social responsibility.
Zaslav said he is seeking to hire two more key executives: A Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and a Chair and CEO for Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.