The Lovefest Between David Zaslav and Casey Bloys Has Solely Simply Begun

Hepburn and Tracy. Taylor and Burton. Newman and Woodward. These are Hollywood’s most revered relationships, however after listening to Warner Bros. Discovery’s pivotal earnings name yesterday afternoon, it’s excessive time so as to add one other pair to the record: David Zaslav and Casey Bloys.

After a livid few days of headscratcher enterprise selections (like tossing the $90MM Batgirl within the dumpster) and wild rumors about the way forward for HBO Max, WBDisco CEO David “Zas” Zaslav spoke to the funding group yesterday afternoon about his firm’s second quarter earnings, however extra importantly, the way forward for the newly merged firm he’s accountable for. The massive information popping out of the decision was that HBO Max and discovery+ might be combining into an as-yet-to-be-named single service come Summer time 2023, however Zaslav saved his most resplendent phrases of reward for Casey Bloys, the HBO govt who has been accountable for the community’s programming over the previous few tumultuous years because the AT&T telephonies kicked then-HBO CEO Richard Plepler to the curb.

Again on July 18, Zas awarded Bloys with a brand new contract, making certain he spends the following 5 years with HBO and anointing him with the title of Chief Inventive Officer, however pointedly didn’t launch an announcement trumpeting the transfer. Though monetary phrases weren’t disclosed, we are able to solely assume that everybody was happy as punch with the association, as the 2 confirmed up giddy as a few schoolboys on the Home Of The Dragon premiere in Los Angeles on July 27, posing for footage on the crimson carpet collectively like BFFs.

David Zaslav (L) and Casey Bloys (R), take pleasure in one another’s glow on the Home Of The Dragon premiere in sunny Los Angeles on July 27, 2022.Photograph: FilmMagic for HBO

On yesterday’s name with a bunch of institutional traders who care extra about EBITDA than Emmys, Zas couldn’t resist the urge to put aside his insights into ARPU and D2C to gush about his new primary boy (as Logan Roy would possibly say). He talked about “Casey” by title six totally different instances throughout the presentation, every time with the admiration of a proud papa. Sounding a bit like Stefon, Zas started by saying “HBO Max has by no means been hotter,” earlier than later lavishing Casey with reward, stating that Bloys is main “the very best workforce within the enterprise,” earlier than bragging that he “locked up Casey for the following 5 years … and we hope longer.” He additionally appeared impressed by “the tradition and the style of Casey,” and the truth that Casey and his workforce “not solely learn the scripts, however they struggle with all their creatives to make the content material and storytelling is as sturdy as attainable.” (Take that Netflix, along with your famously hands-off growth course of!) At one level, he even described Casey as “a unicorn,” which made us actually want we had been aware of Zas’ notebooks; we’d die to see the doodles he makes within the margins throughout his “weekly conferences on the lot” with Casey!!

All kidding apart, Bloys has really shepherded a dynamic slate of tv collection throughout his profession on the House Field Workplace, particularly since he’s been main the cost within the wake of the disastrous AT&T merger. Beneath his management, the HBO and HBO Max workforce secured an industry-leading 140 Emmy Nominations for 2022, produced crucial and business hits (Euphoria! Watchmen! Mare of Easttown! Hacks! Succession! I might preserve going!), and navigated the treacherous waters of determining tips on how to preserve the Recreation Of Thrones franchise buzzing (Home of the Dragon is touchdown later this month). Casey’s stewardship of “one of many nice crown jewels” (one other second of pure Zas power!) of the leisure {industry} makes him the sort of man {that a} kingmaker CEO like Zas desires to “lock up,” Rapunzel type, for years and years to return.

Whereas the way forward for direct-to-streaming motion pictures at HBO Max appears deader than Hodor, one factor is for certain: The love affair between Zas and Casey, to borrow a phrase from The Carpenters, has solely simply begun.

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