Everyone agreed that the takeover of mr. Zaslav increased the chance that Mr. Zucker will remain, perhaps, in an expanded role that includes more of Discovery and Warner’s joint news and sports assets. Discovery, for example, owns Eurosport, a European network with broadcasting rights at the Olympic Games and major tournaments in tennis and golf.
“They were a formidable team when they were together at NBC,” said Jeff Gaspin, a former chairman of entertainment at NBCUniversal, who has worked closely with both men. “They will set up a formidable team at Warner if Jeff chooses to stay.”
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18 May 2021, 21:07 ET
The two men started at NBC in the late 1980s. They trained under Jack Welch, the chairman of General Electric, which controlled the media company, and ascended during NBC’s ‘Must See TV’ golden era in the 1990s.
“It was a time when we would look at each other, and we believed that anything was possible,” he said. Zaslav once said and reflected on their salad days at NBC. Mr. Zucker eventually becomes CEO; Mr. Zaslav leaves to run Discovery in 2007.
Stingy and blunt is mr. Zucker is not known for being friends with other drivers who could become opponents. But he said he and Mr. Zaslav got closer after they left NBC. Only a handful of guests are after the intimate 50th birthday party of mr. Zucker invited to a hotel in Lower Manhattan in 2015; Mr. Zaslav and his wife, Pam, made the cut.
In 2019, when Mr. Zaslav offered a career Zucker, during a stardom in Midtown Manhattan, called the CNN president ‘one of the greatest media leaders of all time’.
Within CNN, the response to this merger announcement was happiness and relief. Zucker’s loyalists were uneasy about the prospect of leaving, and rumors were circulating that AT&T, which faces a huge debt burden, would consider selling the highly lucrative news network, perhaps in the hands of ‘ to give an owner who was less than committed to his journalistic mission. .