Wednesday morningWarner Bros. Discovery The Writers Guild of America picket line in front of Warner Bros. Discovery may be a block away, across the street (due to construction at Penn Station), but it’s in Maddie In the theater at Johnson Square Garden, WBD executives took the stage to deliver a speech without talent.
“What you’re going to see isn’t exactly the show we’re expecting to do today,” said Jon Steinlauf, head of advertising sales at WBD, at the opening. “Out of respect for our talent and for the WGA, we decided to bring only executives on stage.”
Instead, Steinlauf, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales and Inclusive Solutions, Sheereen Russell; Chris Lichter, CEO, CNN; Luis Silberwasser, Sports Director, WBD; Kathleen Finch, Content Director, USA Network; JB Perrette, Streaming and Gaming Director; HBO and
Max CEO Casey Bloys; Chief Revenue Officer Bruce Campbell address weary media buyers, break with clips and sizzle reels took this action. WBD chief executive David Zaslav was in attendance (standing alone in one of the front rows, scanning the crowd), but it was top representatives who spoke first.
The only talent appearance was via video, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper introducing Kaitlan Collins as the channel’s 9pm host,Inside the NBA Team jokes around on their set.
There’s programming news, including a reboot of artificial reality Series The Joe Schmo Show, by New travel series starring Conan O’Brien, Jason Momoa pulls off Shark Week hosting duties and some stints featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Selena Gomez An impromptu performance starring Si et al. There’s also ad news, including the WBD Stream ad product suite, and new Max ad products, including takeover and pause ads.
But the strike and its effects were evident during the demo, with little news about scripting (despite And Just Like That‘s new season has a debut date…).
“First of all, let me start by saying that I hope to find a fair resolution with the writers as soon as possible, which will of course bring talent back to this stage, and honestly, make this show a lot better Interesting,” HBO and Max CEO Casey Bloys told the crowd. “Before that you were kind of stuck with me and my clips.”
In a demo filled with fizz reels of the “Dream” theme, featuring “Dream Cool,” In the form of “Dream Big” and “Dream Bold” flashed across theater screens), a pre-show that itself dreamed of a future without a writers’ strike and with a full-fledged streaming service.
HBO Max will give way to Max next week, strike still pending.