Discovery President-CEO David Zaslav ramped up his ire for TV ratings giant Nielsen during a Tuesday conference call tied to Discovery’s second-quarter earnings. The future calls for “better data” than the long-standing measurement currency company offers, Zaslav said. “Unfortunately, Nielsen is a whiff. And it’s just massively disappointing. We have lost money. Everyone has lost money. You’re dealing with a very antiquated delivery system.”
Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav, fresh from his announced acquisition of AT&T Inc.’s film and TV businesses, said media consolidation will only accelerate and he intends to be a catalyst. “The talk of the week is going to be that the industry is going to start consolidating a little bit more,” the 61-year-old CEO said on his arrival Tuesday at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. “We’re not done yet.”
Warner Bros. Discovery is the proposed new moniker for the combined WarnerMedia and Discovery joint venture coming together as AT&T spins off its investment in Time Warner. Discovery chief David Zaslav announced the new name Tuesday morning as he held a town hall with WarnerMedia employees from the Warner Bros. studio’s Burbank lot.
Discovery gave Chief Executive David Zaslav 14.8 million stock options on Sunday, the day before the company and AT&T announced a plan to merge Discovery with AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit, according to a securities filing. The company valued the option grants at roughly $190 million on Wednesday evening, taking into account the company’s share-price volatility and potential stock appreciation over their eight-year term.
Discovery announced Tuesday it’s extended the employment contract of president and CEO David Zaslav employment contract through Dec. 31, 2027. His previous contract ran through 2023. The extension was made in connection with the definitive agreement between AT&T and Discovery Inc. to combine WarnerMedia’s entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery to create a new standalone entertainment company. Zaslav will lead the proposed new company. Above, AT&T CEO John Stankey (l) and Zaslav at Monday’s press conference announcing the deal.
“We are the best media company in the world” says the CEO poised to lead the content powerhouse. The enlarged Discovery-WarnerMedia will have massive reach across news, sports, unscripted, lifestyle content and some of entertainment’s biggest franchises and tentpole events from the HBO and Warner Bros. imprimaturs.
Discovery CEO David Zazlav on Monday committed to the future of CNN once his company completes a merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia. “Not only are we going to keep it,” Zaslav said in a Monday press conference with AT&T CEO John Stankey, but the new company will “lean into news.” He noted that his company already has a substantial news presence in Europe, which will be combined with CNN to create “a world leader in news.”
AT&T and Discovery Monday announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Under the terms of the agreement, which is structured as an all-stock transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the new company; Discovery shareholders would own 29% of the new company.
Like many media executives, Discovery CEO David Zaslav is not happy with Nielsen, which admitted Tuesday that it may have undercounted viewers during the pandemic. During a conversation Wednesday at MoffetNathanson’s annual media and communications summit, Zaslav blasted Nielsen’s “antiquated system of measurement,” arguing that its ratings were inaccurate even before this latest snafu.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s total compensation for 2020 was $37.7 million, down 18% from $45.8 million in 2019, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The big change in Zaslav’s pay was that he received no option award for 2020. Last year, he received nearly $7 million in options.
Discovery said on Thursday that it will unveil details of its much-anticipated global streaming service and the broader strategy behind it during an investor event on Dec. 2.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s 2019 compensation took a bit fall from his sky-high take in 2018, dropping 65% to $48.5 million for the still-handsomely paid executive. The $48.5 million was more in line with his 2017 compensation, which was $42.2 million.
“We believe that there’s lots of opportunity to look at scripted content, scripted movies,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Thursday at the TCA’s summer press tour. “That area of everything else in quality content, whether it’s Oprah, science, home, food, cars, that’s going to continue to grow, and eventually we’re going to go direct to consumer with some or all of that.”
David Zaslav, who helped orchestrate the $14.6 billion merger of Discovery and Scripps Networks earlier this year, will stay at the head of the combined company through 2023, Discovery revealed Wednesday. The executive, who has been at the helm of Discovery since 2007, had previously been on a contract slated to expire in 2020.
Some senior media executives are at odds about whether selling TV programs to Netflix, Amazon and other digital video platforms is good for business in the long term for content owners.
David Zaslav — the president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications — talks about his deal with the International Olympic Committee to pay $1.4 billion to air four Olympics Games, from 2018 to 2024, across Europe.
Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav received $156.1 million in compensation last year, the company disclosed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The vast majority of the windfall comes from more than $144 million in stock awards that Zaslav received after setting a new six-year employment contract last year.
Discovery Communications has been the target of much merger and acquisition speculation as a series of proposed megadeals threatens to reshape the television business.
Leslie Moonves, Philippe Dauman, Robert Iger, David Zaslav,.Jeffrey Bewkes and Brian Roberts make the annual list.
More stock options, more years for the unscripted svengali. “David has done a superb job,” said Liberty Media’s John Malone, chairman of Discovery’s board of directors. “He built a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands.”
Although the goals were set independently, David Zaslav says that his joint venture with Oprah Winfrey is growing fast enough that it doesn’t have to expand to 85 million homes — from 80 million now — to fulfill his prediction that it will break even in the second half of 2013.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s optimistic forecast to analysts this morning is a slight improvement from three months ago when he said that his joint venture with Oprah Winfrey would merely begin to break even by late next year.
Executives at OWN think they may have found a way to salvage Oprah Winfrey’s struggling cable network: By catering more to an African-American audience. That may help ratings, but it would mean a dramatic shift, and one that could put the channel at odds with Winfrey’s own brand.
Chiming in with what other senior TV executives have said recently, David Zaslav, president-CEO of Discovery Communications, says advertising sales are slowing. But overall, things are not trending down. Speaking at the UBS Media and Communications Conference, Zaslav says “there is a little bit of slowing in volume.”
David Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery Communications Inc., was awarded a compensation package valued at $42.6 million in 2010 — more than triple his compensation for the previous year.