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Discovery CEO Zaslav renews contract following mega merger

David Zaslav

Discovery CEO David Zaslav has extended his contract with the company through to the end of 2027.

The contract renewal comes after it was announced that the exec will helm the proposed new company that will house Discovery and WarnerMedia, announced earlier this week. The new company’s Board of Directors will consist of 13 members, 7 initially appointed by AT&T, including the chairperson of the board; Discovery will initially appoint 6 members, including the CEO – the proposed role for Zaslav.

The new company will have an enterprise value of more than US$120 billion, with US$58 billion in debt.

Zaslav joined Discovery as its president and CEO in 2007 following a career at NBCUniversal. During his tenure, Discovery has expanded to 3 billion cumulative worldwide viewers, acquired Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018 and, more recently, launched SVOD service discovery+ which already has over 15 million subscribers.

While Zaslav’s position at the new company is stronger than ever, one exec on his way out looks to be WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. Kilar, who previously led Hulu and joined WarnerMedia to steer the rollout of HBO Max in April 2020, is reportedly in the process of negotiating his exit from the company after being left out of the talks between Discovery and AT&T.

It will presumably not be difficult for Kilar to find a new senior role in the industry. It has recently emerged that the exec reportedly turned down an offer from Amazon to run its media division ahead of joining WarnerMedia.