- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Discovery and its president and CEO David Zaslav have signed a new employment contract that will see the veteran media executive stay in charge of the company through at least the end of 2027.
“The extension was made in connection with the definitive agreement between AT&T Inc. and Discovery Inc. 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, stand-alone global entertainment company,” Discovery stated on Tuesday.
News of the new employment agreement comes after Discovery and WarnerMedia on Monday unveiled a mega-deal to merge in a joint venture, which Zaslav, 61, will run.
In July 2018, Discovery announced that Zaslav had extended his deal to stay at its helm until Dec. 31, 2023. That agreement followed Discovery’s closing of its $14.6 billion takeover of Scripps Networks Interactive.
The Discovery boss under his current deal does not receive a guaranteed bonus amount. Zaslav’s bonus will be determined each year by the compensation committee of the board of directors. (Axios first reported Zaslav’s deal extension.)
The CEO joined the company behind such cable network brands as the Discovery Channel, TLC and OWN in 2007 “following a distinguished career at NBCUniversal, where he was instrumental in developing and launching CNBC and also played a role in the creation of MSNBC,” Discovery highlighted his previous work on Tuesday.
But it then focused on his achievements since taking over the company. “Under his leadership, Discovery began trading as a public company in 2008 and became a Fortune 500 company in 2014,” it mentioned, for example. “More recently under Zaslav, Discovery ramped up direct-to-consumer efforts and has quickly scaled to more than 15 million global subscribers, led by one of the company’s most ambitious initiatives ever, discovery+.”
And Discovery noted: “The company’s global distribution platform has, under Zaslav’s leadership, expanded to 3 billion cumulative worldwide viewers with a diverse set of brands, creating an unmatched international portfolio for viewers, advertisers and distributors.”
The CEO received compensation amounting to $37.7 million last year, the TV giant disclosed in a recent regulatory filing. That was down from his 2019 compensation of $45.8 million and $129.4 million in 2018.
WarnerMedia owns the likes of the Warner Bros. studio, HBO and streaming service HBO Max, as well as the Turner cable networks, including CNN, TNT and TBS. Discovery’s reality TV-heavy properties also include HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet.
“We think together, the combination makes us the best media company in the world,” Zaslav said on Monday, noting that the combined company will spend $20 billion on content. “We will be one company, one culture, one mission: great stories, great content that entertains people in every country around the world.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day