Zaslav contacted Scorsese and Spielberg to ease fears around TCM layoffs

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david zaslav

Olivia Michael | cnbc

warner bros discovery Employees faced another round of layoffs this week, particularly employees on the cable-TV network side of the business.

lay off Affected The company’s vast portfolio of cable-TV networks, including Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery and Food Network. The Turner Classic Movie Channel was also affected and saw a major leadership change as a result, which raised concerns among cinema fans and those devoted to film preservation.

The network known as TCM is recognized as a venue for the preservation of classic films and a carefully crafted lineup of guest appearances, documentaries and non-English language films. Its offering is one of the movies and shows included on Max, the streaming app from Warner Bros. Discovery.

The network change prompted David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, to reach out to top filmmakers — including the directors of “Goodfellas” and film conservation leader Martin Scorsese; Steven Spielberg, “Schindler’s List;” Including the creator of many Hollywood masterpieces. And Paul Thomas Andersonwho directed such acclaimed hits as “There Will Be Blood” – to assure them that the essence of TCM would not change under the new leadership.

The trio of filmmakers said in a joint statement, “Turner Classic Movies has always been much more than a channel. It is truly a priceless resource of cinema, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” “And although it has never been a financial juggernaut, it has always been a profitable endeavor since its inception.”

Scorsese, Spielberg and Anderson said that after Zaslav contacted them regarding restructuring TCM, they spent time talking with the CEOs individually and as a group, “and it is clear that TCM and Classic Cinema are their best interests.” Our primary objective is to ensure that TCM’s programming is untouched and protected.”

Director Steven Spielberg.

Gilbert Flores | Diversity | Getty Images

In April, Spielberg and Anderson discussed film preservation efforts at the TCM Classic Film Festival. Zaslav joined them on stage, according to media reports,

A representative for Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment beyond the statement from the filmmakers.

A 2022 merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery would create the largest portfolio of cable-TV networks under one roof at a time of cord cutting as many consumers opt for streaming services. The merger also happened when major streaming platforms such as Netflix began to see their subscribers stagnate and shift their focus from growth to profitability.

Warner Bros. struggles with huge debt burden resulting from Discovery merger, and has been looking for ways To reduce its cost. There have been many layoffs – resulting in thousands of employees losing their jobs – as well as others measuresSuch as reducing material expenditure.

In addition, the company recently rebrand Its flagship streaming service, as Max, is a combination of its Discovery+ and HBO Max content. Content from its cable-TV networks, including TCM, is featured on the service.

“We are very excited and encouraged by our conversations so far, and we are committed to working together to ensure the continuation of this cultural touchstone,” Scorsese, Spielberg and Anderson said in the statement.