Warner merges with Discovery

In which Warner Media acknowledges that their attempts at creating a viable streaming platform have failed:

David Zaslav was officially named Monday to lead a new combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery, propelling him to the top ranks of operators in the industry and offering just the latest example of consolidation among media conglomerates as the rise of video streaming continues to upend the entire sector.

Zaslav’s ascension is part of a surprising move by AT&T and Discovery to pool their media resources and make a bid to compete more directly with large rivals like Netflix, Walt Disney and NBCUniversal. Under terms of the deal, AT&T shareholders will control 71{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} of the new company, while Discovery shareholders would own 29{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6}. The boards of both companies have approved the pact and the transaction is expected to close in mid-2022, subject to approval by regulators and Discovery shareholders. Two key Discovery backers, the media executive John Malone and the media company Advance, will vote in favor of the transaction.

In remarks made Monday morning, the executive vowed to run the combined entity — a new name could be unveiled later this week — with “one culture, one mission,” though it seemed clear he needed time to determine a new executive team and to answer questions about integrating assets. There was no position designated for WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, and Zaslav offered no detail on a potential role for Jeff Zucker, the head of WarnerMedia’s CNN and sports operations, who is slated to leave his current job at the end of 2021. “We will be trying to figure out how do we get the best and brightest to stay,” Zaslav said.

It will be interesting to see what impact this will have with regards to the future growth of Unauthorized and Arktoons. But given the new entity’s commitment to one Satanic culture and one Satanic mission, it shouldn’t be too hard to defeat them every time we find ourselves going head-to-head.