Executives with Warner Bros. Discovery reported record savings in the second quarter on Thursday’s earnings call.
The reason for this? The current writers’ and actors’ strike.
On the call, Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels revealed the savings are in the “low $100 million range,” according to Variety.
Q2 runs from April 1 to June 30. Only members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) were on strike at this point in time.
Wiedenfels explained that the company is hoping for a resolution between the two unions and the studios next month.
“While we are hoping for a fast resolution, our modeling assumes a return to work date in early September, should the strikes run through the end of the year, I would expect several $100 million upside to our free cash flow guidance and some incremental downside for adjusted EBITDA,” he said.
CEO David Zaslav touched on the strikes in the call.
“We’re in the business of storytelling. Our goal is to tell great stories, stories with the power to entertain and, when we’re at our best, inspire with stories that come to life on screens big and small,” he explained.
“We cannot do any of that without the entirety of the creative community, the great creative community. Without the writers, directors, editors, producers, actors, the whole below-the-line crew. Our job is to enable and empower them to do their best work. We’re hopeful that all sides will get back to the negotiating room soon and that these strikes get resolved in a way that the writers and actors feel they are fairly compensated and their efforts and contributions are fully valued.”
The WGA has been on strike since May 2 and SAG-AFTRA joined them on July 14. So far no deal has been reached between the two unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
However, that could soon change.
The WGA sent an email to members saying that the head of AMPTP requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of contract talks.
“We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information,” the email read. “As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us.”
So far, it doesn’t look like the organization has reached out to SAG-AFTRA.