Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav has ice in his veins. The man looks at creative content and sees ledgers, and as such, HBO Max is continuing to get gutted. Deadline is reporting that Raised By Wolves, Head of the Class, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and a slate of reality TV shows like Finding Magic Mike will all be permanently leaving HBO Max soon as Zaslav looks for more way to get tax write-offs and plans a major sale to a FAST streamer of premier HBO Max content. While it was known that most of this content was leaving, the fact that there are definite plans to move them to Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV is new.
This is just the latest in a series of moves the CEO has made as he took over the company and looks to slash costs and get WB into some form of better performance. The recent removal of shows from HBO Max, which also includes Westworld and Minx, is occurring with the end goal of selling a package to a FAST platform like PlutoTV in order to better monetize the content for the company. While WB may not own the rights to all these series, it is working out deals to sell some of them in this package, while others will go back to the studios that created them where they can be shopped to other streamers possibly.
However, the end result of shows like Raised by Wolves and The Time Traveler’s Wife leaving HBO Max will be that many of these series will reside on FAST platforms where viewers won’t be able to watch them on demand or without ads. Although, this kind of premium content will be a boon to whichever platform gets them, raising its respectability quite a bit. The shows may also stay hidden until Warner Discovery launches its own FAST service, which Zaslav seems excited to do.
This all definitely feels terrible for the creators and artists behind it for sure, but for Zaslav and Warner Discovery’s bottom line, it doesn’t make sense to keep the series on the platform as they just cost them money. Zaslav made this point incredibly clear on a recent earnings call with one of the coldest statements I’ve ever heard about creative content: “All those write-offs… we didn’t take one show off a platform that is going to help us in any way.”
Unconfirmed reports say that after this he walked away in a hollowed-out volcano, laughing maniacally and petting a white cat all so he could drink the tears he collected from the eyes of the directors of Batgirl.