The new company merging AT&T-owned WarnerMedia and Discovery has a name: Warner Bros. Discovery.
Announced last month, Warner Bros. Discovery is proposed as a new ‘pure play’ content company that will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of programming. It will also house both HBO Max and Discovery+ – two major streaming services that have launched over the past 12 months – and be operated under the guidance of Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who recently extended his contract until 2027.
Announcing the new company branding to WarnerMedia employees in Burbank, Zaslav said: “Warner Bros. Discovery will aspire to be the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world – that is what the company will be about. We love the new company’s name because it represents the combination of Warner Bros.’ fabled 100-year legacy of creative, authentic storytelling and taking bold risks to bring the most amazing stories to life, with Discovery’s global brand that has always stood brightly for integrity, innovation and inspiration.“
The deal is expected to close in mid-2022, and AT&T shareholders will own 71% of the new company. Warner Bros. Discovery will have an enterprise value of more than US$120 billion, with US$58 billion in debt.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar last week put an end to speculation about his immediate future at the newly-merged entertainment giant, telling employees that he will remain with the company at least until the early part of 2022.
His announcement came following reports that he was negotiating his way out of the company after being frozen out of merger talks between AT&T and Discovery.