Transom: Inside Zaslav's State of Slate
Warners' Harry Potter, The Hangover, Hot Wheels and an under-leveraged vault
As he takes ownership of Warner Bros.’ film division, David Zaslav has decided to keep WB boss Toby Emmerich in place for now. A survivor, Emmerich is a smart guy who knows what he has to do up in Burbank. But the crown jewel of the former WarnerMedia empire has been rocked over the last few years by leadership/ownership transition, all sorts of ousters, a lot of day-and-date confusion in the Kilar era, and now, one would imagine, a need to reset and take stock of what’s in the cabinets. Warner Bros. film division today comprises about 25 percent of the formerly WarnerMedia’s overall revenue, but is invaluable as a font of material for HBO Max, theme parks and consumer products.
Greenlights are increasingly convoluted in the new streaming world. Both Emmerich and DC-honcho Walter Hamada are feature-minded execs, so while Emmerich decides which Warner Bros. movies receive a theatrical release and which head to HBO Max, Casey Bloys and Sarah Aubrey greenlight all series programming for HBO Max. Channing Dungey calls the shots at Warner Bros. Television Group, which supplies the streamer with much of its content.