Now Reading
Has David Zaslav Found a New Publicist at Warner Bros. Discovery?

Has David Zaslav Found a New Publicist at Warner Bros. Discovery?

It might just be the most difficult job in Hollywood: working as the flack for a studio CEO with an insatiable hunger for press — as long as it’s of the fawning kind. Six months after Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief communications officer and Murdoch alum Nathaniel Brown’s surprise departure from the company, David Zaslav is close to naming a chief spin doctor following a desperate high-level search for Brown’s replacement, Hot Source has learned. The absence is keenly felt at a company in dire need of someone to help deflect attention from Zas’s monster pay package and Warner Discovery’s likely loss of NBA rights. 

The new flack, described as a “big name out of the box” will oversee both policy and comms, and will come with political experience Hot Source has learned. “It’s a Geoff Morrell type but not Geoff Morrell!,” a WBD insider tells Hot Source referring to the former Disney flack whose tenure as Bob Chapek’s communications chief lasted about as long as one of Hot Source’s lunches. In the interim. Zas has been seeking out the advice of several external PR consultants and has internally relied on Katie Martin Kelley, the EVP of Comms for Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group who joined the company from MGM last year. Martin Kelley seems savvy enough that she decided it was best to only fulfill the thankless job on an interim basis.

Among the issues that Zaslav and Brown famously butted heads on was Zas’s decision to join former Vanity Fair and current Air Mail editor Graydon Carter in Cannes at the start of the writers strike to host a lavish f–k you to Vanity Fair party that also celebrated 100 years of Warner Bros. Ignoring Brown’s advice about the bad optics of partying amidst the strike, Zaslav and Carter presided over the affair in matching white suits. This year’s Cannes shindig was reduced to a more modest affair hosted by the CEOs of Warner Bros Film Group, Michael DeLuca and Pamela Abdy, to celebrate “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” with Zas and Carter and their white suits nowhere in sight. A rep for Warner Discovery declined to comment.

This story first appeared in “Hot Source,” THR’s scoop-filled new weekly newsletter about media, Hollywood and politics by special correspondent Lachlan Cartwright. Subscribe here.

Copyright © MetaMedia™ Capital Inc, All right reserved

Scroll To Top