Warner Bros. Discovery Says Strikes Saved It More Than $100 Million in Q2, David Zaslav Hopes Negotiating Resumes Soon

Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Weidenfels says that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have saved his company $100 million.

via: Variety

Though negotiations have yet to resume between the unions and the studios, WBD says it is currently projecting an “early September” end to the strikes and return to TV and film production.

“We’re in the business of storytelling. Our goal is to tell great stories, stories with the power to entertain and, when we’re at our best, inspire with stories that come to life on screens big and small,” CEO David Zaslav said on the call with analysts. “We cannot do any of that without the entirety of the creative community, the great creative community. Without the writers, directors, editors, producers, actors, the whole below-the-line crew. Our job is to enable and empower them to do their best work. We’re hopeful that all sides will get back to the negotiating room soon and that these strikes get resolved in a way that the writers and actors feel they are fairly compensated and their efforts and contributions are fully valued.”

The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May 2, as a result of being unable to reach a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) before the clock ran out on the previous one May 1. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined them July 14, after failing to ink a new agreement with the AMPTP as well.

“It’s critically important that everybody, the writers, the directors, the actors and producers… everyone needs to be fairly compensated and they need to feel valued and feel that they’re fairly compensated in order to do their best work,” Zaslav said. “And we have to focus on getting that done. I’m hopeful that it’s going to happen soon. I think all of us in this business are very keen to figure out a solution as quickly as possible. We are in some uncharted waters, in terms of the world as it is today and measuring it all. And so I think, in good faith, we all got to fight to get this resolved. And it needs to be resolved in a way that the creative community feels fairly compensated and fully valued.”

Also during the Q2 earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels stated that WBD had saved more than $100 million due to the strikes in Q2, which ran April 1-June 30. Only WGA was actually on strike during that time, but TV and film productions were already severely impacted by the solo work stoppage.

Share This Post