(Variety) CNN Max is likely to evolve over time. Among the features the company will try out are ways of alerting Max viewers to breaking news while they are watching something else on the service, whether it be an HBO series, a Turner Classic Movies selection or an old episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
The brilliant mind of Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav continues to amaze me. Before getting to this, lets look at some of the decisions he has made since taking over in 2021.
One of his first moves was to immediatly cancel a TON of projects, including the already-completed 'Batgirl' movie starring our sweet boy Brendan Fraser. This was all to get a tax write-off. Because of those write-offs, those projects can never be released on a monetized platform. He also removed a lot from the existing HBO library which pissed everyone off.
He then rebranded HBO Max, which had only had that name since 2019, to just 'Max' in 2022. That's right, Zaslav saw the name "HBO Max" and decided to remove the acronym that is synonymous with the highest quality television in the world and keep "Max", which is fucking meaningless.
Zaslav also revealed his evaluation of the combined strengths of HBO and Discovery...
So you have prestige programming that is on the level with 'The 90 day Fiance Universe'.
Zaslav then decided to cut out the library of Turner Classic Movies, which is basically most accessible archive of all classic movies. This move pissed off the movie-making world so much that Spielberg, Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson had to get him on a conference call to get him to reverse course.
On the news end, he hired Chris Licht in 2022 to help right the ship at the failing CNN. He basically did nothing but piss people off and Zaslav fired him in 2023.
And lastly, the strike. While he hasn't taken as much of a dickish approach as Bob Iger at Disney, he still refuses to deal with the WGA. As a reminder, the writers are asking for 0.104% of Warner bros. total revenue of $43.1 billion.
Now we get to this CNN inclusion. This is a U2-adding-their-album-to-iPods level move if they do it. Who in the fuck wants to be notified of real-world problems while doing the most common form of escapism on earth? Imagine watching The Sopranos and getting a notification of Mitch McConnell or Joe Biden falling asleep mid-speech. WHO CARES! Nobody is watching HBO content, whether its prestige HBO stuff or braindead TLC shows, wanting to hear the news. You know what you do to watch the news? YOU WATCH THE NEWS.
This is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen and hopefully somebody talks him out of it.