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If AT&T plans to limit expensive private jets at its newly acquired Hollywood units, Kevin Tsujihara and Toby Emmerich didn’t get the memo. The high-flying Warner Bros. CEO and film studio chief recently took the company plane on a whirlwind trip to visit movie sets in Washington (Wonder Woman 1984) and Toronto (It: Chapter Two) after traveling to New York to attend the studio’s Richard D. Parsons Community Impact Awards. While in the city, they also visited the set of 2019’s Melissa McCarthy-Elisabeth Moss drama The Kitchen.
Long known for its culture of austerity and a tight leash on executive spending, Texas-based AT&T is now the owner of the more freewheeling Warner Bros., HBO and Turner networks. But if new WarnerMedia chief John Stankey is preparing to crack down on lavish expenses like flying private, he apparently hasn’t informed his troops. He might not have to schedule a sit down with Emmerich, however. The veteran studio chief is known to be cost-conscious and prefers Uber or driving himself as opposed to relying on more expensive car services while traveling for work.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stankey talked about spending and how business will change across all of the company’s divisions, though there were “no plans for any major changes in the workforce right now.”
He added: “But look, these businesses are all changing, the industries are changing. There isn’t an industry on the face of the planet right now that isn’t subjected to major dynamics and disruption and innovation and change. And to say that those kind of effects aren’t going to ultimately impact these companies over time in terms of how investment is made and where skills in the workforce rest and reside — look, I’ll never sit here and tell you that that isn’t at some point in time going to be an impact on a large business.”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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