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David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros: I am very proud of everything we do at TVN

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I am here because TVN is very close to me. I come here often and I am very proud of everything we do at TVN – said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. discovery. He added that he also came to Poland to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Anita Werner: Today in “Fakty po Faktach” a special guest. David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. discovery. Good morning David.

David Zaslav: Good morning, Anita.

AW: I am glad that we can host you. Thank you for your presence. You came to Warsaw at a special time. We are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Why is this anniversary so important to you?

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DZ: First of all, I am here because TVN is very close to me. I come here often and I am very proud of everything we do at TVN. We’ll come back to that. In addition, a large part of my family comes from Poland. My relatives died in the Warsaw Ghetto. When I am here and see such an important celebration, I have another confirmation of how wonderful this country is.

AW: Not only is your personal history connected with Poland, but also the story of the founders of Warner Bros. They were four brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner. Three of them were born in Poland. Do you think these personal experiences influenced their later work?

DZ: Actually, they were born 100 kilometers from Warsaw. My Los Angeles office used to be Jack Warner’s office. I think that his entrepreneurship, his drive for success, to a large extent result from Polish culture. I saw it in my grandparents. The Warner brothers showed entrepreneurship when they came to California, wanting to tell stories that would have a real impact on how people see the world and themselves. There was a time when they were producing 100 movies a year. Back then, there was only radio in the world, so people went to the cinema to see what other countries looked like, how their inhabitants dressed. So the Warner brothers left a big mark. And now I am in this great company. And with you here on the TVN news channel, on Polish TVN, HBO and Warner Bros. and with all this great content, we have a chance to tell great stories. We are a company that presents such stories and in this way we influence reality.

AW: Now let’s move on to your role in the company. You became the President, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery over a year ago. How would you answer if I asked you about your most important goal. I know it’s hard to pick one, but what would it be?

DZ: I would say telling great stories. Stories are at the heart of Warner Brothers. Whether in series, movies, HBO, even games, and we recently released a new game called Hogwarts Legacy. Great storytelling can be fun. And when we try hard, it can inspire. In Warner Bros. great, creative people work. Our activities are very diverse. This is not only entertainment, but also sport – we will show the Olympic Games. We broadcast ski jumping, most tennis, cycling and broadcast news programs. We are very proud of the news of TVN – the most trusted news brand in Poland. We fight very hard for journalistic integrity, to present Polish viewers with all the facts and opinions of each side. This is the foundation of Warner Bros. values. discovery. We are lucky that TVN has been our important entity for many years, which is why I come to Poland so often. Now CNN is also ours. I spent the morning on TVN today. We are in the first place in Poland in the area of ​​providing entertainment as well as in the area of ​​information. We also enjoy the greatest trust. And that’s really important to us. I know how hard you work for it. Our entire team fights to show the best version of the full truth every day. Our stories have the greatest impact when viewers see what’s going on in the world and what’s going on in their world.

AW: Speaking of TVN and TVN24, which are also owned by Warner Bros. discovery. How important is Poland for a global corporation? How important are TVN and TVN24 as independent free media in Poland?

DZ: Poland is a fantastic market. This is probably the only market in Europe that has recorded positive GDP over the last decade. It is a country strongly focused on education, where wonderful people live. It is also our largest market, and we are present in 110 countries. We employ almost 4,000 people here. It’s a fantastic country. We love news activities and our business in Poland. From time to time there are questions whether the Polish company is for sale. And I focus, among other things, on how to increase investments. For example, local entertainment content, sports and news. So that we can develop the ideas of true journalism, freedom of speech and that everyone can be heard, as it is in every country. We do that with CNN too. Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash are here with me tonight. You could spend some time together. The cooperation between TVN and CNN is intense and brings a lot of joy. The fact that we can cover information, sports and entertainment distinguishes us as a leading company in the media and entertainment sector outside the United States. We are also one of the largest media companies in the United States. Our voice can therefore be very strong in the future.

AW: Speaking of entertainment, there was an important announcement recently from Warner Bros. discovery. In May in USA new streaming service Max will be launched. And next year it will appear in other countries. What is the most unique, enticing and exciting thing about Maxie? Why are you waiting for him like that?

DZ: I think that for our voice to matter, we have to be available everywhere and for everyone. For a long time, people watched stories only on TV screens. Then our phones became such receivers. Finally, Netflix and other subscription platforms have arrived. We launched Eurosport Player. We did the same in TVN, in our company. New methods of reaching the audience are now available. We can be a leader in traditional business. But to be successful, we need to become a leader in streaming, and I think Max will help us do that. Our platform in Poland is great. With today’s HBO Max, together with TVN streaming, we are number one or two on the market. And on Max, we’re building more content. In Europe, we’ve learned that the more time people spend with you and the more family members use the product, the more they feel their needs are met. Then they spend more time using this product and the more often they convince their friends to do so. Our TV library is the largest in the world. We also have the largest libraries of feature films and documentaries. By combining them, we give access to the largest selection of content ever available to the recipient. So we’re very excited about it. By adding news and sports content to this, we meet the needs of our viewers to the greatest extent.

AW: Poland and the USA are great allies on many levels, in different dimensions. This is very important especially now after the Russian invasion Ukraine. I believe that Poles and Americans share the same values. For example, respect for democracy, freedom, diversity, free and independent media. Which ones are most important to you?

DZ: Last week I spoke with the US Vice President about my upcoming visit to Poland. I also met with the head of President Biden’s administration. Relations between Poland and the USA are very strong. Our common values ​​are the foundation. Freedom of speech and the presence of our leading, free and most trusted news station in Poland and its strong position have been made possible by how great this country is. We watched from a distance what happened in Ukraine and how Poland responded to it. We saw it on TVN, but we also watched it on CNN, thanks to which these images reached over a billion people in the world. It was really inspiring. Like how Poles faced this situation by opening the doors of their homes and offering medical assistance and education to nearly two million Ukrainian refugees. It was an example of how to be good, how to help others and it became a model for other people from all over Europe and the world. I know that in America we were very impressed by what is happening here, the support provided by Poles to Ukrainians, their sacrifices and the great work done by volunteers. It is very moving.

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