Marc Graboff is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after nearly eight years with the company and its predecessor, Discovery. Inc. Graboff, a respected television executive, has just informed the company’s employees of his decision. Graboff, a key member of Discovery CEO – and now WBD – senior executive team David Zaslav, made the transition to the combined company following the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia. Graboff, who last reported to Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer, US Networks Group, will leave the company in December after helping with the transition.
“My decision to leave wasn’t easy and I’ve grappled with it for months. But with my contract next spring and the ongoing transformation of our newly merged company, the timing made sense,” Graboff wrote in his memo. (You can read it in full below.)
According to sources, Graboff had an opportunity to renew his contract but chose to exit, a move that would ease the layoff burden on his department as WBD seeks $3 billion in cost cuts. He is not retiring and is expected to consider his next move after a hiatus.
During his Discovery tenure from 2015 to 2022, Graboff negotiated the BBC Natural History output deal, various high-profile talent deals (including Mike Rowe, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and The Property Brothers), the commissioning and renewal of successful franchises such as 90 Day Finances, Deadliest Catch, Beat Bobby Flay, Serengeti and Top Gear USA.
Before joining Discovery, Graboff was President of the Core Media Group from 2012 to 2015. He oversaw american idol on Fox, the management and eventual sale of Elvis Presley Enterprises, and the acquisition of Sharp Entertainment, producer of the highly successful 90 Day Finance franchise on TLC.
Graboff’s career is closely linked to NBC, where he spent a dozen years from 2000 to 2012, including alongside Ben Silveman as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio, where he made headlines. He started as EVP Business Affairs and ended up as President Business Operations. Negotiate the Frasier, west wing, ER and friends Deals and signed the first NBC – Universal post-merger overall deal with Dick Wolf.
As SVP Business Affairs at CBS from 1996 to 2000, he negotiated the landmark deal for survivor.
Here is his memo:
It is with mixed feelings that I share my decision to retire as President, Global Business & Legal Affairs and Content Supply Chain, effective later this year.
Until then, I will be working with Kathleen’s senior US Networks team on the transition. Our common goal is to ensure the most efficient and effective structure for the further development of the organization. To that end, Kathleen will be releasing some additional organizational announcements shortly.
My decision to leave was not easy for me and I have grappled with it for months. But with my contract next spring and the ongoing transformation of our newly merged company, the timing made sense.
It has been my honor to be part of this organization and to have worked with some of the most talented leaders in our industry. My colleagues in the global business and legal affairs team and in our global manufacturing management organization are best in class and I have no doubt that you will continue to excel in the years to come.
I hope to speak to as many of you as possible by December 31st to personally thank you for making these last 8 years some of the most rewarding of my professional life. Many Thanks.
All the best,