AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. have completed their mega-merger after 11 months.
The merger which was first announced last May was completed on Friday. The two media giants merged to form a new company named Warner Bros. Discovery. Warner Bros. Discovery starts trading today under the ticker “WBD”.
Consequently, longtime Discovery CEO, David Zaslav will head Warner Bros Discovery as its CEO.
Zaslav announced the closure of the mega-deal in a statement, saying,
“Today’s announcement marks an exciting milestone not just for Warner Bros. Discovery but for our shareholders, our distributors, our advertisers, our creative partners and, most importantly, consumers globally.
With our collective assets and diversified business model, Warner Bros. Discovery offers the most differentiated and complete portfolio of content across film, television and streaming. We are confident that we can bring more choices to consumers around the globe while fostering creativity and creating value for shareholders. I can’t wait for both teams to come together to make Warner Bros. Discovery the best place for impactful storytelling.”
Warner Bros. Discovery Merger: AT&T bids farewell to media
The merger is AT&T’s way of stepping away from the media and entertainment industry. It will rather focus on its core business of 5G, fibre and wireless networking.
Concerning this decision, AT&T CEO John Stankey said “Getting to this moment was one of the more difficult decisions of my life.”
He wrote a farewell speech in an email to his staff on Friday.
He said, “I am sure you aren’t surprised that it came with a fair amount of anxiety, disappointment, and concern relative to the changes it would trigger. All considered I remain confident we have set the right path.
Over time, the combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery will bring forth a stronger company and quicken the already strong pace of innovation and change you have established.”
Furthermore, the merger puts WarnerMedia assets like HBO, HBO Max, CN, Warner Bros studios/pictures, New Line Cinema, DC Films, TNT, CNN etc. and Discovery Inc. assets like Animal Planet, Discovery+, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and others under one umbrella company.
This merger also creates a new competition for media giants and streaming platforms like Disney, Universal Studios, Netflix, Amazon and others.
Top WarnerMedia executives are exiting the company following the merger which puts Discovery executives in charge of the new company.
The CEO of Warner Media, Jason Kilar also exited the company on Friday after the deal closure.
Conclusively, the merger dawns a new day in Hollywood. We look forward to what this merger would bring.