‘Change Is Coming’ To Streaming, Says WarnerMedia’s Jason Kilar

HBO and its streaming service, HBO Max, have attracted 67.5 million customers, and the company expects to reach 73 million by year end.

WarnerMedia Completes Upfront With Record Ad Commitments

This year’s upfront generated high prices because falling ratings meant a lack of supply in the market. At the same time, many businesses were looking to resume advertising as the effects of the pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown lessened. Broadcast and sports were among the most in-demand media

WarnerMedia First Media Company To Join Comscore’s Addressable TV Measurement Trial

Comscore has signed the first media company to participate in its national addressable TV programmer measurement trials: WarnerMedia. Under the agreement, which began in late 2020, WarnerMedia is the first to test Comscore’s program, which allows publishers to execute and measure their national linear addressable inventory across multiple MVPD and connected TV providers for the first time.

WarnerMedia Chief Jason Kilar Says He’s Staying Into 2022

With speculation swirling about Jason Kilar’s potential exit from WarnerMedia — given its looming combo with Discovery — the CEO told staffers at a town hall meeting Thursday that he plans to stay with the company through next year. “My plan and my focus is to remain here in my CEO role at WarnerMedia,” Kilar said, according to a source who was in attendance. “I am not thinking right now about post-merger. There will be a time to consider that topic in 2022.”

AT&T-Warner Fallout Shows Hollywood Business Is Complicated

An abrupt landing to a turbulent trip comes with a familiar message: Buying into the content business is hard

WarnerMedia And Discovery Mega-Deal Leaves Rival Studios Scrambling To Get Bigger

Bankers are already starting to salivate over what other megadeals could be in the offing following this week’s surprise pair-up of WarnerMedia and Discovery. AT&T’s desperation to drop a company that it spent $85.4 billion and a year and half in legal fights to acquire raises the immediate question of what else might be possible in an era when Wall Street is pressuring big media conglomerates to keep generating content for audiences hungry to stream their favorite dramas and comedies. (Illustration: Cheyne Gateley for Variety)

NEWS ANALYSIS

Streaming Wars Are Now Takeover Wars

Discovery’s merger pursuit suggests companies as big as ViacomCBS still aren’t big enough to compete when tech and media giants are on the prowl

An Old-School Media Titan Pushes Aside An Upstart

Jason Kilar was named chief executive of WarnerMedia just last year, but now he is negotiating his departure after being sidelined by David Zaslav, the longtime leader of Discovery.

How David Zaslav Pulled Off A Stealth WarnerMedia Takeover

“We are the best media company in the world” says the CEO poised to lead the content powerhouse. The enlarged Discovery-WarnerMedia will have massive reach across news, sports, unscripted, lifestyle content and some of entertainment’s biggest franchises and tentpole events from the HBO and Warner Bros. imprimaturs.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | WarnerMedia-Discovery Deal Exposes Achilles’ Heel

This week’s announcement of a mega-merger between AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery must still pass muster with consumers who may not be willing to pay a premium fee for much of what they watch.

Discovery Stock Soars 18% In Premarket Trading On News Of WarnerMedia Merger

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | COVID-Era Content Management Taps Cloud, AI

Technology executives from WarnerMedia, Sinclair and Hearst said at a recent TVNewsCheck webinar that they’re tackling the content management challenge amplified by the pandemic by using cloud storage and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve indexing and searching.

WarnerMedia Snags Remaining NHL TV Rights As NBC Bows Out

The National Hockey League has completed its next TV rights package — and for the first time in 16 years, NBC Sports won’t be a part of it. NBC pulled out of negotiations for the partial rights for the league’s next TV deal. WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports will pick up the remainder of the package, sharing rights with ESPN for seven seasons beginning with the 2021-22 seasonth.

‘Young Sheldon’ Sold To Stations In 90%+ Of U.S.

WarnerMedia sells the CBS series in top Nexstar markets along with stations from Sinclair, CBS, Hearst, Gray, Tegna, Scripps, Cox, Meredith, Graham, Weigel, Allen Media, Sunbeam, News-Press, Londen Media, Griffin, Lockwood, Morris among others. It debuts in fall 2021.

ViacomCBS Buys Chilevisión From WarnerMedia

ViacomCBS’s international networks division said it agreed to acquire Chilevisión from AT&T’s WarnerMedia. Financial terms were not disclosed. Local reports valued the transaction at between $14 million and $20 million. ViacomCBS Networks International said the acquisition will expand its footprint in Latin America and give it premium Spanish-language content for its Paramount Plus and Pluto TV streaming platforms.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar Pay Package Worth About $17M Annually

Jason Kilar, who has served as CEO of WarnerMedia since May 2020, has a compensation package worth about $17 million per year in cash and stock, according to a regulatory filing. Kilar’s base annual salary is $2.5 million, plus $2.5 million in short-term target bonus and $12 million in vested stock grants per year, according to AT&T’s proxy filing Thursday. The exec’s total realized compensation in 2020 was $2.92 million.

WarnerMedia, CBS Gear Up for ‘Very Complex’ March Madness Tournament

Ad sales have been “remarkably strong” following last year’s cancellation. Turner and CBS have now had an entire year to prepare for the return of March Madness, which is going to look a little different from 2019. All 67 games will be staged entirely in Indiana, and 10 production teams will work the event, up from the usual eight.

WarnerMedia Names Miranda Higham SVP, Head Of Communications For International

WarnerMedia To Hold Virtual Upfront Event

WarnerMedia joined the list of media companies announcing plans to hold a virtual upfront event in May. “WarnerMedia will host its Upfront on Wednesday, May 19, in a virtual event to showcase its entire portfolio of offerings to advertisers. The event will take place in the morning,” a WarnerMedia ad sales spokesperson said.

NBCU’s Streaming Strategy Raise Prospect Of WarnerMedia Merger

As Netflix and Disney cement their leads over an array of rivals in the video streaming market, top executives at Comcast and its NBCUniversal arm are in a quandary. Only 11.3 million households regularly watch NBCU’s Peacock service, far fewer than use competing services, according to recent internal data. NBCU wants to ramp up Peacock’s growth, particularly among paying users, but without spending a lot of money. Its solution is to strike deals with other entertainment companies to broaden either Peacock’s programming or its distribution.

WarnerMedia Sets Virtual Kids Upfront For Feb. 17

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | TV Broadcasters Expand Cloud Usage

Technology executives from WarnerMedia, Sinclair, Amagi and Grass Valley said at a TVNewsCheck webinar last week that while broadcasters are drawn to the cloud’s flexibility and scalability, moving away from on-prem hardware means workflow changes often better suited to a hybrid model.

Webinar: IP and Cloud Playout in 2021

Networks and station groups are working on designing IP and cloud playout operations that include live programming. What challenges do they still face in 2021? How much of their cloud playout plans will use the public clouds and how much will take place in private data networks? What do leading technologists anticipate will be their timelines for moving playout to IP or the cloud?

MLB Broadcaster Casey Stern Files Discrimination Complaint Against WarnerMedia, Turner Sports

TVN Webinar To Explore IP And Cloud Playout

Technology managers from Sinclair Broadcast Group, WarnerMedia, Amagi and Grass Valley will talk about their progress at designing IP and cloud playout operations during a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar. Set for Thursday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. ET, the webinar’s speakers will be (clockwise from upper right): Matt Azzarto, director of media technology, Production Engineering Group, WarnerMedia; Srini Srinivasan, co-founder, Amagi; Walid Hamri, senior director of media systems at Sinclair Broadcast Group; moderator Glen Dickson, TVNewsCheck contributing editor, and Karl Mehring, senior director of product management for playout at Grass Valley. Please register here to join the webinar.

 

WarnerMedia Buys Canadian OTT App Development Company You.i TV

Inside The Seismic Shifts In TV’s Top Jobs

As Hollywood tries to make sense of 2020’s sweeping changes in TV’s C-suites, streaming’s priority is the only constant.

WarnerMedia Considering CNN Streaming Service

Warner executives are discussing launching two new streaming services. One would be a subscription offering based on content from CNN and could launch next year. Another would be a free service carrying programming from its entertainment cable channels TBS and TNT as well as the Warner Bros. film library, said people familiar with the situation.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Analyst: WarnerMedia, NBCU Should Merge

“It is time for both AT&T and Comcast to abandon the fool’s gold of vertical integration of content and distribution and merge NBCUniversal with WarnerMedia,” LightShedPartners analyst Richard Greenfield argued last week. Will this vision actually become reality? “We doubt it,” he adds.

WarnerMedia’s Pascal Desroches To Take AT&T CFO Reins As John Stephens Sets Retirement

CNN’s Zucker Faces What Might Be His Last Lap

Under AT&T, CNN chief Jeff Zucker felt blindsided by a recent overhaul of WarnerMedia that slimmed down his role. The 55-year-old’s contract expires next year and he hasn’t committed to extending his deal in meetings with WarnerMedia brass and communications with CNN employees, people familiar with the situation say.

Women In Technology Awards Live On Zoom Today At 4 p.m. ET

The 10th Annual Women in Technology Awards Presentation Ceremony and “Predictions for 2021” panel will kick off today, live on Zoom, at 4 p.m. ET. See the honorees, an honor roll of past honorees, here in the program. Still need to Register? 

WarnerMedia Plans Thousands Of Job Cuts

The AT&T-owned company is seeking to reduce costs by as much as 20% as the pandemic drains income from movie tickets, cable subscriptions and TV ads, according to people familiar with the matter.

WarnerMedia Entertainment Communications Exec Kevin Brockman To Exit Amid Restructure

HBO Max Offering 20% Price Break For New And Lapsed Subscribers

WarnerMedia still has the challenge of transitioning the bulk of the 36 million-plus HBO customers it already has onto the new service.

Jessica Holscott Named Finance Head At WarnerMedia’s Studios And Networks Group

WarnerMedia Layoffs Include Jeffrey Schlesinger, Ron Sanders, Kim Williams

It is a difficult day at WarnerMedia, which is undergoing a round of major layoffs, part of a companywide restructuring spearheaded by new CEO Jason Kilar. As part of realignment, leaving the company are (l-r) Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution; Ron Sanders, president, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and EVP, International Business Operations; and Kim Williams, EVP and chief financial officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Greenblatt, Reilly, Cocozza Out At WarnerMedia

New WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is putting his stamp on the company with a big reorganization. Leaving WarnerMedia are Bob Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, and Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, as well as Keith Cocozza, SVP communications. The move comes four months after Kilar took over the top WarnerMedia post and two months after the launch of HBO Max.

Women In Technology Awards And ‘Predictions 2021’ Panel Set For Oct. 19

TVNewsCheck will present a virtualized 10th Annual Women in Technology Awards presentation ceremony and immediately after it, a “Predictions for 2021” panel session featuring all six honorees talking about how widespread remote production and other developments this year are likely to affect technology in 2021. Honorees are (top, l-r): SMPTE’s Barbara Lange, WarnerMedia’s Lisa Pedrogo, Perspective Media’s Janet Gardner, (bottom, l-r): Avid’s Kate Ketcham, Latakoo’s Jade Kurian and Walt Disney Co.’s Sally Hattori. To attend the event on Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. ET, please register here.

 

WarnerMedia To Sell Atlanta’s CNN Center

WarnerMedia leadership told staffers Monday that the CNN Center in Atlanta will be sold, downplaying questions about whether the move signals impending layoffs.