David Zaslav Warns Creating Content At “Any Cost Is Over” But Says “Golden Age” Is Still Alive & Kicking

“The grand experiment of creating something at any cost is over,” warned David Zaslav.

But the President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery believes that the “golden age of content” is “absolutely not over”.

This comes as Zaslav revealed plans to raise its savings target to $3.5B, up $500M over its initial target.

The new owners of HBO et al. have been cutting content costs across the company, killing a number of high-profile series such as J.J. Abrams’ HBO drama series Demimonde, which was reported to have a budget of mid-$200M, as well as slashing series such as The Big D, Chad and others on the Turner networks side.

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It has also got HBO Max out of the reality business and killed its kids and young adults content on the streamer.

“I was recently asked if I thought the golden age of content was over. I said absolutely not. There’s nothing more important than content, people consuming more content than they ever have. But it has to be great content. It’s no longer about how much,” he said.  

He highlighted series and movies such as House of the Dragon, Euphoria, The Batman, Harry Potter, Friends and The Big Bang Theory.

He also said that the “strategy to collapse all windows, start linear and theatrical and spend money with abandon, while making a fraction in return… is deeply flawed”.

Zaslav reiterated plans to spend more than its ever done and addressed the write-downs and removals of a number of series from HBO Max including scripted series such as Camping, Mrs. Fletcher, Run and Vinyl and reality series such as Ellen’s Next Great Designer and Generation Hustle as well as a slew of animated series.

“All those write offs… we didn’t take one show off a platform that is going to help us in any way,” he said.

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