Reading the Zazleaves

Martha Stewart and David Zaslav
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.
Dylan Byers
February 11, 2022

Over the past week, I’ve been covering the fallout from Jeff Zucker’s ouster, and its implications for CNN’s journalists, the network, and its new parentco., Warner Bros. Discovery. Today, I’m discussing the latest details, including some fresh reporting, with Puck co-founder, Jon Kelly. Herewith…

Jon Kelly: Dylan, you’ve had a week covering the fallout from Jeff Zucker’s resignation. Naturally, the most heated conversations are about what’s going on inside CNN, but I’m most curious about the higher-altitude picture. Not only does Warner Bros. Discovery C.E.O. David Zaslav have to hire Zucker’s replacement, but he’s also likely to replace Zucker’s old boss, Jason Kilar, who is presumed to exit at the conclusion of the deal. What are you hearing about this?

Dylan Byers: It turns out that no one is going to replace Jason Kilar. David Zaslav will have the heads of the entertainment, sports and news divisions of Warner Bros. Discovery report in to him, sources familiar with his plans tell me, effectively eradicating the layer that Kilar inhabited. This is to be expected—Zaslav is integrating a public company with a division of a conglomerate, and Kilar’s role was a synergy.