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WarnerMedia Merges With Discovery

April 11, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
WarnerMedia Merges With Discovery
FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2014, file photo, people pass an AT&T store in New York's Times Square. Shares of the new Warner Bros. Discovery media giant, the $43 billion combination of Discovery and the AT&T spinoff WarnerMedia, have begun trading Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON — Friday afternoon Discovery finally merged with WarnerMedia, creating a streaming and cable media giant that now has three streaming services — Discovery+, HBO Max and the newly launched CNN+.

“I am confident that our collective energy and genuine love for these businesses and brands will build the world’s most dynamic media and entertainment company,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav wrote in an internal memo to staff Friday afternoon.

Monday is the first day the newly formed company, Warner Bros. Discovery, will be publicly traded.

AT&T sold WarnerMedia to Discovery after owning the media conglomerate for about four years. The telecom giant bought what was then called Time Warner for $85 billion when the deal closed in 2018.

Discovery purchased WarnerMedia for $43 billion.

Now, Discovery owns multiple streaming services and a wide array of content including Discovery’s Animal Planet, TLC, HGTV and Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, and WarnerMedia’s Warner Bros., HBO and CNN.

It’s unclear whether the company will consolidate its offerings into fewer streaming services as there’s more competition. The average U.S. household spends $40 a month on streaming services.

Earlier this week there were already a few executives exiting from WarnerMedia as AT&T spun off the company, including CEO Jason Kilar. 

When announcing the moves, ​​Zaslav wrote in an internal memo that “we are establishing a simpler organizational structure with fewer layers, more accountability and more resources focused on the screen.”

Instead the company “will work to integrate the organizations and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks to serving consumers while unlocking value for all stakeholders,” he wrote.

Madeline can be reached at maddie@thewellnews.com

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