Reality TV executives are moving ahead and is the center of the governing body after the merger – the deadline

As Discovery and WarnerMedia plan to close their $ 43 billion merger later this week, the focus has been on the implications of the deal for WarnerMedia’s film and television business. There was a lot of chatter in the industry about the importance of Casey Blois ’television script empire and the role of Toby Emerich, who continues to oversee Batman film studio.

The couple is expected to co-host Warner Bros. Channing Dangi will report directly to David Zaslav as part of a new campaign structure to be published soon.

However, because these directions are high-profile, they are also an addition to the Discovery business, which only peripherally participates in script television through the company’s company with Oprah Winfrey. Meanwhile, this is a television without a script, where the two merging companies have the greatest overlap and where the pooling of assets will require consolidation.

It was mostly noticeable how Discovery, supposedly a company completely controlled by reality television and executives without a script, would unite the many departments and cable networks that feed mainly on this pipeline of scientific literature, in two groups.

Clearly, Discovery executives are silent until the deal closes, which is expected to take place on Friday.

Kathleen Finch
Discovery

Kathleen Finch, who is currently CEO of Discovery lifestyle brands, where she oversees networks including HGTV and TLC, is expected to oversee an expanded group of networks that will now include Turner networks including TNT, TBS and truTV as well as Cartoon Network, TCM, Adult Swimming and Boomerang.

Sources suggest that Finch, who took over the role in 2018 after the acquisition of Discovery Scripps Network, could control all of the company’s line networks, which includes T-networks, as well as a group mostly for children, now run by former Freeform boss Tom Asheim. . .

Finch knows the linear landscape well; she began as a TV journalist, including 12 years in the CBS news network, before engaging in programs on the Food Network, where she developed series, including Ace of Cakes, and became president of HGTV and then of all Scripps networks.

“Kathleen fits the Discovery form. She is smart, lives in New York, is new and has no profile, so she is perfect, ”said one of the observers.

She is also considered a “tick above” by Nancy Daniels, who is the CEO of Discovery and Factual, overseeing the Discovery Channel among others. There is also a chance that Daniels will also take on an increased role.

“David will help those he knows,” added another source. Daniels has been with the company since 2007, joining the development and production leadership for Discovery Studios on the West Coast. “Nancy survived, and she’s fine, even though she hasn’t ordered a return in a while.”

On the corporate side, Bruce Campbell, Chief Development Officer, Dissemination and Legal Affairs, and J.W. B. Perret, President and CEO of Streaming and International, should play a key role, as well as international boss Gerhard Zeiler.

Other key leaders in the Discovery universe who are expected to be key in the future include Jane Latman, Howard Lee and Jason Sarlanis.

Latman, who has been with Discovery since 2003, runs HGTV and recently took control of the Food Network after President Courtney White left her own production company. Although HGTV and Food Network are not the sexiest of television networks, they are the two most valuable, especially given their reach to female audiences.

Lee, as president of TLC, is a man credited with success 90-day groomperhaps the most valuable Discovery franchise with many additional products. He is very much loved in the world of design and production, and the united group will at one point marry another idea of ​​this magnitude.

He is believed to have collaborated well with Jason Sarlanis, a rising star at Discovery, who has served as head of the Criminal and Investigation, Linear and Streaming Department. Former ABC and E! exec has series like In step with the Kardashians on his resume and his growing influence has been noticeable over the last couple of years.

The big question concerning the WarnerMedia equation side is what it means for executives like Asheim, Brett Weitz, who is the CEO of TNT, TBS and truTV, Corey Hanson, who is vice president and CEO Unscripted for TBS. , TNT and truTV and Jennifer O’Connell, who is vice vice president for the HBO Max fiction and children’s play program.

Henson is behind such series as Reboot Wipeout, The Cube, Go-Big Show and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Home Tournamenta competition series produced by Warner Bros. with Helen Mirren, which has performed well for TBS and Cartoon Network.

FBoy Island

FBoy Island
HBO Max

O’Connell also had a few hits on the streamer; Selena + chef there was a quarantine staging that was resumed for the fourth season, ballroom competitions Legendary returns in the third season with a previously provocative title FBoy Island caused a lot of noise.

«FBoy Island may not be Citizen Kanebut this is their market, ”one source said.

The source added that it is likely that the combined company is creating a consolidated division that buys in its division, similar to the fact that ABC and Hulu are now subordinated to Rob Mills, while NBC, its related cable networks and Peacock are subordinated to Jenny Groom and Rod. Isa may have Daniels in control of it.

One vendor told Deadline that WarnerMedia executives “didn’t officially turn off the hole, but there were a lot of throws” while they expected it to happen.

Then there is the studio side. Channing Dangi will remain in charge of Warner Bros. Television, and it doesn’t look like there won’t be a governing body between people like Dangi, Blois, Emerich and Zaslav, despite months of rumors linking people like Peter Rice to a Disney role.

But where does Mike Darnell, president of Unscripted and Alternative Television, fit into the puzzle? Discovery, which has never been a content vendor, would probably like the studio to deliver more self-produced content to a rich pipeline (although as a fad, Discovery’s “hiring work” model already owns its own shows made by outside producers. ).

Some have suggested that Darnell will get a bigger role in production for Discovery Channels along with online sales and streamers to third parties, and that “Crazy Genius” is behind series like Autopsy of aliens: fact or fiction and the reality series Paris Hilton Simple life as well as hits like Master Chef, American Idol and So you think you know how to danceperfect for creating the kind of programming tricks that Discovery loves.

However, others warn that this figure may not be appropriate for the Zaslavl campaign.

Former NBC chief Zaslav, who is moving into Bob Evans ’infamous Hollywood home, is known to value loyalty, but a number of sources have also highlighted the fact that he also evaluates all his executives through the prism of“ What You Did for Me ”. lately? ‘.

“It simply came to our notice then [with this consolidation]. This is a game of mercenaries in the world of mercenaries. These people do not create chaos, they are ruthless in their clarity, ”one source said.

“It’s kind of funny that the film business is taking over reality,” added another.

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