December 6, 2022


Following last year’s news that Discovery Communications would merge with WarnerMedia, Warner Bros. Discovery’s new CEO, David Zaslav, familiarized himself with Hollywood and selected suitable professionals to help guide the combined company. Alan Horn, Bob Iger, Bob Daley, Ari Emanuel and Bryan Lourd are among the Hollywood heavyweights he reached out to when the manager spent a year seeking professional advice.

The Guardian / Bryan Lourd is a 61-year-old “young” Hollywood crème de la crème.

 

Lourd, 61, is not well known in Hollywood but is influential. Since 1995, he has co-directed CAA, one of two leading talent agencies. Brad Pitt is one of Lourd’s clients. Clooney, Gutman. Scarlett Johansson. This is Octavia Spencer. Alejandro González Iárritu’s film. Producer Lorne Michaels. Instances abound. Zaslav offered to become chairman of Warner Bros. and asked Lourd for her opinion on Warner Bros. Discovery.

  • Hollywood’s dumbest star

Bryan Lourd is a dealmaker and CEO confidante as the entertainment industry changes. Lourd has worked with George Clooney and Brad Pitt and is admired by Hollywood’s elite. Lourd has been instrumental in recent talks with Apple and Disney, two streaming giants. Studio Head: “He’ll tell you to go to hell, so sweet you’ll ask for directions.”

Girls Talk / Lourd’s colleagues joke about him saying he’s the dumbest guy they’ve ever met.

 

Agents move agencies. MCA recruited CAA co-founder Ron Meyer in 1995 to oversee Universal. Michael Ovitz, another CAA co-founder, was eventually recruited by Disney as President and CEO, making him Michael Eisner’s #2. Lourd rose at CAA in 1995 on a flood of new hires and the departure of a third co-founder, Bill Haber, to join the Save the Children Federation.

Zaslav considered employing Michael DeLuca to head up Warner DC Comics’ film and television division. DeLuca resigned as MGM’s film chairman after the sale to Amazon. Lourd then suggested that Zaslav give DeLuca and Pam Abdy control of Warner Bros. Unnamed sources say Lourd heard Zaslav’s offer but never considered leaving CAA. Zaslav saw it in June. DeLuca and Abdy are co-chairs and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. The position of Deputy Chief of Staff is vacant. It’s clear why Lourd stayed there.

  • Transformational Persistence

Iger warned last month that the entertainment business was going through a “major shift.” Major media companies are merging and focusing on online video streaming as the media industry advances. Apple and Amazon are becoming formidable, well-funded rivals. Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and CBS have all had new CEOs in recent years.

Netflix’s stock price has fallen over 60% this year as investors turn against the company. “Have we passed the golden years of entertainment?” media moguls wonder.

Washington Post / Due to his successful career, Lourd has been dubbed “the last true Hollywood star.”

 

More than a dozen media executives told CNBC that this increases Lourd’s influence among business leaders. “Hollywood’s last real star,” says Zaslav. Lourd is a conservative who enjoys analyzing classic films and criticizing his clients’ work. Former HBO executive Richard Plepler says he’s a “smart consigliere” to most industry participants.
Lourd is known for its impact and anonymity.

He advised Zaslav on hiring Warner Bros., encouraged Apple TV+ to spend more money on its customers’ upcoming projects, and appointed board members. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos says he is one of Hollywood’s most important figures. Lourd declined this interview. However, he does not appear to be ill.
“Not Entourage” is a better title as it defines what it isn’t.

Many people associate Plepler and “entourage” with Hollywood, but these attributes are not typical. Piven modeled Ari Gold on Emanuel’s loud, pushy personality. Iger, Paramount Pictures President Brian Robbins, Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch, NBCUniversal President Jeff Shell and Zaslav praised Lourd. Iger: “He’s one of a kind.” He rose to power through threats and intimidation in a universe of super agents. He always tells the truth. He can shake up communities by championing popular initiatives. Sometimes he says: “That would have been better.”



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