May 27, 2022 • 42M

Pod: CAA, Disney and Leadership's Big Test

Richard Lovett, David Zaslav, Kareem Daniel, even Rick Caruso, are all riding (or hiding) in a new MBA culture

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BUSINESS NOT CASUAL From left: David Zaslav, Kareem Daniel, Richard Lovett and Rick Caruso: (Zaslav: Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Daniel: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images; Lovett: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for CIS; Caruso: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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Where has Richard Lovett gone? It’s the billion-dollar question posed by Richard Rushfield earlier this week about CAA’s once-fiery president, and also part of a broader discussion about entertainment leadership on today’s Ankler Hot Seat, hosted by Rushfield and Janice Min, and joined by Ankler contributing editors Nicole La Porte and Peter Kiefer. From his stale (but starry) talent list to his noted absence during client Will Smith’s Oscars meltdown, the disappearing Lovett has the town wondering what has happened, says Rushfield. Meanwhile, newcomer Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney media and entertainment distribution, and subject of a recent profile by LaPorte, has people talking for other reasons: he represents the streaming age’s sharp-elbowed MBA-ing of entertainment (Stanford, Goldman Sachs), and as CEO Bob Chapek’s top Disney+ decision maker, has found himself at odds with creative senior leaders. Is there something to be said for putting bean-counters in charge? (David Zaslav, for one, wins rare praise from our own ESG). Heck, even Los Angeles itself is facing a similar question, Kiefer outlines, as the entertainment industry picks between a traditionalist (Karen Bass) and a billionaire businessman (Rick Caruso) in the final laps of the mayoral race.

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