With just a few weeks to go until one of the biggest product launches in their careers, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman met alone for several hours.
The two veteran business executives, representing the top echelons of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, were suddenly forced to discuss the future of the project they’d worked on — and promoted — almost constantly for the past two years.
Their vision for a game-changing streaming video service called Quibi had raised a stunning $1.75 billion in capital. But their plans never foresaw a pandemic, and when Katzenberg and Whitman sat down in mid-March, the novel coronavirus was beginning to show that it was not a blip. Hospitalizations across the US were increasing; restaurants and schools were closing.
Seth Doane — a CBS news correspondent helming a special version of the “60 Minutes” news program being created exclusively for Quibi — fell ill with COVID-19