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WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is leaving the company after CNN was roiled over Zucker’s downfall

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said he will leave the company if AT&T’s entertainment unit merger with Discovery closes on Friday — just weeks after he faced backlash over the ouster of CNN CEO Jeff Zucker .

Kilar was a Hollywood lightning rod character who implemented a plan during the pandemic to release the company’s entire 2021 Warner Bros. roster on the company’s burgeoning streaming service HBO Max, while also debuting it in theaters.

This decision was eventually embraced by competitors such as Disney and Universal Pictures.

Most recently, Kilar made headlines after asking CNN CEO Jeff Zucker to step down amid recent controversies at the news channel.

Kilar made the decision to oust Zucker from CNN because he failed to disclose a personal relationship with CNN’s marketing and communications chief Allison Gollust, who also later resigned.

The revelation of the relationship was part of an investigation into whether former CNN host Chris Cuomo misled his bosses about the extent of the help he was giving to his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his fight against allegations of sexual harassment. Kilar was grilled over the decision by CNN staffers at town hall-style meetings.

Jason Kilar
Kilar was a lightning conductor at WarnerMedia, reorganizing the unit and building HBO Max.
Getty Images

Kilar’s exit from WarnerMedia, home of CNN, Warner Bros. and HBO, has been expected since AT&T and Discovery first announced the deal last spring. The announcement marks Kilar’s formalization of the plan as Discovery CEO David Zaslav prepares to lead the combined company, dubbed Warner Bros. Discovery.

In conversation with The Wall Street Journal, Kilar said he has “no immediate plans” for his next move, but added that he will remain focused on technology, storytelling and innovation. “I’m not going to retire and sit on the beach,” he said.

The executive, who joined WarnerMedia in April 2020 while HBO Max was preparing for launch, came from Hulu, where he served as CEO after launching in 2007.

David Zaslav
Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead Warner Bros. Discovery when the deal closes this week.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

During his tenure at WarnerMedia he also overhauled and roughly consolidated the corporate structure 2,000 digitsincluding some of the highest positions.

The changes have resulted in HBO and HBO Max gaining nearly 74 million subscribers, up from 20 million before Kilar took the reins in 2020. As the pandemic has eased, Warner Bros. has since brought movies back to theaters and a 45-day theatrical window before they land on HBO Max

“As the upcoming transaction with Discovery nears completion, now is the right time to tell each of you that I am leaving this amazing company,” Kilar said in a memo sent to WarnerMedia employees.

“There are many feelings one can have in a moment like this, but for me there are none greater or more enduring than the feelings of gratitude and love I have for this team, this company and this mission.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/warnermedia-ceo-jason-kilar-to-exit-following-cnn-dustup-over-zuckers-ouster/ WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is leaving the company after CNN was roiled over Zucker’s downfall

JACLYN DIAZ

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