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David Zaslav Net Worth

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David Zaslav (born January 15, 1960) is an American media executive who is the current CEO and president of Warner Bros. Discovery.

After becoming CEO and president of Discovery, Inc. in 2006, Zaslav oversaw changes in its channels, which largely shifted from education-oriented programming to reality television. In April 2022, Zaslav oversaw the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia into Warner Bros. Discovery, and later the re-naming of the streaming service HBO Max into Max. He has been strongly criticized for his business decisions, including removing titles from the company’s streaming platforms to avoid paying residuals and canceling nearly finished projects for the purpose of tax write-offs.

What is David Zaslav’s Net Worth and Salary?

David Zaslav is a media executive who has a net worth of $400 million. David Zaslav serves as the CEO and president of Warner Bros. Discovery, the company formed from the 2022 merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia. Previously, he was the CEO and president of Discovery, where he oversaw a shift from educational programming to reality television through networks like HGTV, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network and the Oprah Winfrey Network. As CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, Zaslav oversees Warner Brothers film and TV studio, HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS, in addition to the previously mentioned reality networks.

More recently, Zaslav has received strong criticism for his business practices over the years, including his mass-removal of titles from the streaming service Max and his habit of canceling nearly finished projects in order to get tax write-offs.

Net Worth: $400 Million

Salary: $40 Million

Date of Birth: Jan 15, 1960 (63 years old)

Place of Birth: Brooklyn

Gender: Male

Profession: Businessperson

Nationality: United States of America

Salary

David first started working for John Malone‘s media conglomerate, Discovery, in 2006. Between 2006 and the end of 2022, David earned $750 million in compensation. Today David Zaslav’s base salary is $3.1 million, but with stock grants and bonuses his annual total comp can be significantly higher. For example:

Discovery went public in 2008. Therefore, in 2009 filings showed he earned $11.7 million in the previous year. Over the next year he earned $42.6 million.

In 2014 David earned a salary of $152 million from Discovery Communications. That made him the highest-paid corporate executive in the world that year.

In 2018 he earned $129.4 million.

In 2021 David Zaslav’s total compensation came to $246.6 million. The vast majority of that compensation was a $203 million stock option grant.

In 2022 he earned $39 million. That was broken-out as:

  • $3.1 million base salary
  • $12 million stock awards
  • $1.4 million stock options
  • $21.8 million “non-equity incentive plan comp” (aka bonus)
  • $925,489 “other” compensation

NBCUniversal

In 1989, Zaslav joined NBC. He became president of the Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution arm, where he oversaw content distribution and negotiated for cable and satellite carriage of NBCUniversal networks. Zaslav was also responsible for overseeing various NBCUniversal channels, including Bravo, A&E, Telemundo, the History Channel, and National Geographic. Additionally, he was instrumental in the creation and launch of the news networks CNBC and MSNBC.

Discovery

In late 2006, Zaslav succeeded Judith McHale as CEO of Discovery. At the company, he oversaw the development and launch of various new networks, including OWN, Velocity, and Planet Green, and worked to shift programming more toward reality television and away from education-based content. Under Zaslav’s leadership, Discovery went public in 2008 and became a Fortune 500 company in 2014. In 2018, the company acquired Scripps Networks Interactive.

Warner Bros. Discovery

In the spring of 2022, Zaslav oversaw the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia into Warner Bros. Discovery. He received an executive compensation package that included a $3 million annual salary with an annual $22 million bonus, plus a contract extension with stock options valued at $190 million. Zaslav soon  came under fire for his business practices as head of Warner Bros. Discovery, particularly his decision to drastically reduce the content library on the company’s streaming service HBO Max, later rebranded as Max, so he could get tax write-offs. Moreover, he canceled projects that were nearly finished, such as “Batgirl” and “Scoob! Holiday Haunt.” The total accounted loss came close to $25 billion off Warner Bros. Discovery’s market cap.

Zaslav garnered more criticism when he appointed Chris Licht as CEO of CNN without interviewing any internal candidates. Licht went on to attempt to make CNN more palatable to conservatives in the US; he was ultimately fired in mid-2023. Zaslav continued to draw the ire of the public when he oversaw major cuts to the network Turner Classic Movies. In response, such filmmakers as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg met with Zaslav to be assured of TCM’s protection.

Personal life

Zaslav lives in New York City with his wife Pam and their three children. His daughter, Ali, is a congressional producer with CNN.

During the 2020 election cycle, Zaslav donated over $240,000 to Democratic politicians and PACs, as well as $5,600 to Republican senator Jim Risch.

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