Speaking of Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer of HBO and HBO Max, and his team, WBD Chairman and CEO David Zaslav revealed that “we’re going to spend a lot more” in 2022 and 2023 compared to 2020 and 2021. Executives, however, declined to give numbers, and an HBO representative said. declined to elaborate on Zaslav’s comments.
Zaslav added that the majority of Bloys’ top team have been “locked in”, although he declined to name any leaders. The list is believed to include key senior executives under Bloys.
“Quality is what matters. Quality is what Casey and this team deliver. It’s the best team in the business. We’re dubbing this HBO team. They are all under contract and we are going to spend a lot more this year and next year than we spent last year the year before,” Zaslav said.
He called content director Bloys a “unicorn”.
“The majority of Casey’s team members have been locked down, Casey is here for the next five years and we hope longer, he’s truly a unicorn, his ability to relate to talent, improve content, his leadership, and you see in what comes out of HBO, and how that affects the culture and what people were talking about.
Zaslav pushed back against rumors that HBO Max’s programming slate would be drastically reduced.
“There was buzz today about HBO Max [that] we’re going to start doing fewer shows and our strategy is to embrace and support and then drive the incredible success that HBO Max is enjoying. It’s really in the culture and the taste of Casey and the team and the fact that they not only read the scripts but fight with all the creatives to make the content and the storytelling as strong as possible . It’s a very unique moment. We think that’s an amazing asset, an amazing advantage,” he added.
Content spent on HBO Max, which is gearing up for a merger with Discovery+, sources say next summer, is expected to rise although the impact of the increase will likely be mitigated by inflation. WBD remains committed to most of its original programming (except live-action and children/family animation and live streaming movies) at the moment despite recent unsubstantiated speculation that the platform and its programming team may be eviscerated.
Zaslav also revealed that all of the company’s creatives now meet once a week on the studio grounds. “It’s something that we initiated with me in the field, in person, in addition to the multiple general staff meetings. But the creative meetings with everyone together was really effective and a way not only to talk about the storytelling, but to talk about how you share content and how we help each other so talentedly,” he added.