Following the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger into one big media conglomerate, the future looks unsure. One of the biggest concerns for people who are interested in having access to classic media is TCM. Turner Classic Movies was launched back in 1994, and it holds rights to a lot of classic Warner Bros, MGM, and RKO films. When WBD recently restructured the channel, and longtime TCM veterans like general manager Pola Chagnon left the network, fans were understandably concerned.

 

Those fans include filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Paul Thomas Anderson — who reportedly took their concerns to WBD CEO David Zaslav. Following the publicly reported call between the directors and Zaslav, the directors released a statement, saying they are “heartened and encouraged” about the conversation, despite the upheaval in leadership at TCM.

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“It’s clear that TCM and classic cinema are very important to [Zaslav],” they added, while noting “Our primary aim is to ensure that TCM’s programming is untouched and protected.” Most classic film fans would agree quite strongly with that sentiment.

Here was the directors’ full statement about the future of TCM:

Turner Classic Movies has always been more than just a channel. It is truly a precious resource of cinema, open 24 hours a day seven days a week. And while it has never been a financial juggernaut, it has always been a profitable endeavor since its inception.

Earlier this week, David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, got in touch to talk about the restructuring of TCM. We understand the pressures and realities of a corporation as large as WBD, of which TCM is one moving part.

We have each spent time talking to David, separately and together, and it’s clear that TCM and classic cinema are very important to him.  Our primary aim is to ensure that TCM’s programming is untouched and protected.

We are heartened and encouraged by the conversations we’ve had thus far, and we are committed to working together to ensure the continuation of this cultural touchstone that we all treasure.

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