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New giant named Warner Bros Discovery

David Zaslav

Warner Bros Discovery will be the name of the new company created by the proposed merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery, boss David Zaslav has announced.

The global entertainment company, shock details of which emerged last month, takes its name from the legendary studio owned by WarnerMedia and founded in 1923 by brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner.

In total, the new company will boast a library of some 200,000 hours of programming, bringing together series from HBO, Warner Bros, Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet and ID, among other brands.

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery and the future CEO of the proposed combined company, unveiled the new name at the Warner Bros studio lot in Burbank on Tuesday.

Zaslav said he wanted the new company to be “the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world.”

The company has said it is aiming to increase investment in original content and programming; create more opportunities for under-represented storytellers and independent creators; serve customers with innovative video experiences and points of engagement; and propel more investment in high-quality, family-friendly non-fiction content.

“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,” said Zaslav.

“There are so many wonderful, creative and journalistic cultures that will make up the Warner Bros Discovery family. We believe it will be the best and most exciting place in the world to tell big, important and impactful stories across any genre – and across any platform: film, television and streaming.”

The merger comes with “at least US$3bn in expected cost synergies annually.” Exactly how many job losses that includes has yet to be revealed.

Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia since April last year and former boss of Disney-owned streamer Hulu, is almost certain to leave having been passed over for the top job at the merged entity in favour of Zaslav.

Kilar had overseen a restructure at WarnerMedia that saw long-serving, big-name execs such as Bob Greenblatt, Kevin Reilly and Peter Roth depart and 1,500 lower-level jobs cut , but he was kept in the dark about the Discovery deal right up to its confirmation, according to the New York Times.


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