HBO Max/HBO Gain 3 Million Subscribers In 1Q

AT&T, in its Wall Street swan song as an entertainment entity, reported solid subscriber pickup for HBO Max and HBO for the first quarter of 2022 on Thursday. The now-divested WarnerMedia unit was again a drag on profitability because of continued investments in HBO Max and the launch of CNN+ — reflecting a key reason AT&T spun it off.

Discovery Guts WarnerMedia Executive Suite Ahead Of Merger

Discovery is cleaning house among the top ranks at WarnerMedia ahead of the close of the two companies’ merger, which is expected to occur on Friday, with six more executives shown the door on Wednesday, Variety has learned. According to a WarnerMedia spokesperson, the newly cut WarnerMedia players include: Jennifer Biry — chief financial officer; Jim Cummings — EVP, chief human resources officer; Tony Goncalves — EVP, chief revenue officer; Christy Haubegger — EVP, communications and chief inclusion officer; Jim Meza — EVP, general counsel, WarnerMedia; and Richard Tom — chief technology officer.

Ann Sarnoff Departing As WarnerMedia Studios And Networks Chief

Ann Sarnoff, who has held a top film and TV studio role at WarnerMedia for nearly three years, is departing the company as it gets set to merge with Discovery. News of her exit spread quickly Tuesday. It will take effect upon the close of the $43 billion merger, which is something of a moving target but getting closer to becoming reality. Regulators will determine the exact timeline of when the transaction can be officially consummated, but indications are that it will happen Friday.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar To Leave Company Ahead Of Its Merger With Discovery

In an internal memo, Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia, announced to staff that he would be stepping down from his role this Friday ahead of his company’s merger with Discovery, which will become official this Friday. Kilar, who has been in this position for nearly two years, oversees a vast media empire, including CNN, HLN and Turner Sports.

CNN+ Launches Without Support From The No. 1 OTT Platform, Roku

CNN Plus will also likely be shut out of Google TV and Android TV on its first day. WarnerMedia said it’s working to expand distribution.

Chris Cuomo Wants WarnerMedia, CNN To Pay Him $125M In Damages

The former CNN primetime anchor alleged in an arbitration filing Wednesday that his career has suffered damages in excess of $125 million, and suggested CNN had allowed several of his one-time colleagues to violate standards and practices in a bid to keep viewership. The anchor also said his firing by CNN late last year cost him nearly $15 million in salary that he would have earned if he had served out his last contract.

Discovery Shareholders Approve $43B WarnerMedia Merger

Discovery investors voted in approval of the company’s $43 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T to create Warner Bros. Discovery during a special meeting of stockholders on Friday, marking one of the final formal steps before the transaction can close. The deal, a spinoff of WarnerMedia from AT&T, is expected to be completed early in the second quarter, with insiders estimating between April 11 and 28. The merger has already received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the boards of directors of both AT&T and Discovery.

WarnerMedia Says It Will Pause All New Business In Russia

AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit will pause all new business in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said in a note to staff on Wednesday. It will cease television broadcasts in Russia, halt new content licensing deals and pause planned theatrical and game releases.

Discovery Clears $30B Bond To Finance WarnerMedia Deal

Investors piled into Discovery Inc.’s $30 billion U.S. investment-grade corporate bond deal on Wednesday to finance its mashup with AT&T’s WarnerMedia, a bullish sign for markets rattled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Jeff Zucker Reaches Resolution With WarnerMedia Over Abrupt CNN Exit; Won’t Sue

Jeff Zucker has finalized a deal with WarnerMedia over the former CNN chief’s sudden fall from grace last month. Details of the confidential package are obviously being kept close to the vest, but sources tell us Zucker made the decision several weeks ago to accept what had been put on the table by his old bosses at the time of his cable news exit. What we do know is that, if WarnerMedia keeps their side of the deal, in the next week to 10 days, Zucker will receive a one-time payment of around $10 million.

CNN Names James Anderson To Head Communications After Allison Gollust Resignation

Rick Lewchuk, CNN’s SVP of marketing and brand standards, will continue to oversee news marketing efforts for the network in the wake of Gollust’s absence.

Clashing Executives, Office Romance, Angry Anchors: Inside The Week That Shook CNN

The sudden exit of Cable News Network President Jeff Zucker highlights his tensions with WarnerMedia’s chief, leaves talent frustrated.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar Faces More Pushback From CNN Staffers Over Jeff Zucker Exit

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar continued to be on the receiving end of pushback from CNN staffers on Monday over last week’s unexpected resignation of longtime network president Jeff Zucker. According to tweets from Washington Post reporter Jeremy Barr citing CNN staffers who attended a staff meeting with Kilar, the WarnerMedia CEO sidestepped pointed questions about why Zucker’s exit was described as a “resignation” when reports suggest that Zucker would face firing if he did not agree.

At CNN, Personal And Corporate Tensions Collide After Jeff Zucker’s Exit

Inside the media giant, unease has been mounting: over the network’s corporate ownership, the firing of Chris Cuomo and a looming merger with Discovery.

After Zucker’s Exit, CNN Staffers Grow Skeptical Of WarnerMedia, Discovery

Zucker’s Ouster Rattles Prominent CNN Staff At Pivotal Time

CNN’s is about to undergo a corporate ownership change, launch a paid streaming service and replace its most popular on-air host at a time of slumping ratings. It became clear Thursday that Jeff Zucker’s exit after nine years as CNN’s leader was anything but voluntary.

Digging Deeper Into Jeff Zucker’s Shocking, Complicated & Messy Resignation

A relationship with a colleague. A Chris Cuomo investigation. A sudden departure amid big changes. Untangling a messy circle that could get messier.

The Probe, The Relationship, The Lawyer’s Letter & The Phone Call That Led To Zucker’s Shocking Exit

Jeff Zucker’s surprise resignation from CNN on Wednesday quickly triggered puzzled questions over just what led to his ouster after revelations of his relationship with Allison Gollust, EVP and chief marketing officer for CNN Worldwide. But the relationship itself is not what triggered WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s call to Zucker in recent days informing him that he had to exit or face termination. Rather, it was Zucker’s failure to disclose the relationship, in violation of WarnerMedia policy.

WarnerMedia Names 3 Execs As Interim Co-Heads Of CNN Following Zucker’s Departure

Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz will serve as interim co-heads of CNN following the resignation of Jeff Zucker. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar indicated that the trio would lead the network on an interim basis through the close of the company’s merger with Discovery, which is expected in the spring or even earlier.

AT&T To Slash Dividend After Spinoff Of WarnerMedia

The company is picking a simpler method to complete its deal with Discovery that will make the transaction easier for individual investors to digest, but will still leave the telecom company with about 7.2 billion shares outstanding.

Why AT&T May Be Leaning Toward A Spinoff Of Its Discovery Stake

AT&T may be leaning toward a straightforward spinoff of the 71% stake in the new Warner Bros. Discovery in the coming months rather than a complex “split-off,” or exchange offer. A transaction in one of those forms will take place when AT&T merges its WarnerMedia business with Discovery.

Draymond Green Will Analyze NBA Games For WarnerMedia While He Keeps Playing

The CW Plans A Return To In-Person Upfront

The CW will joins the parade of TV networks returning to in-person upfronts, with a presentation slated for Thursday, May 19 in New York City. Time will tell whether the network will present as a joint venture of ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia or under the aegis of a new corporate owner.

WarnerMedia, Altice Reach New Distribution Deal

AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Altice USA have reached a new long-term renewal of their distribution agreement, sources familiar with the situation said. The agreement covers the former Turner cable networks including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and truTV. Financial details were not disclosed.

CW Chief Addresses Staff As ViacomCBS & WarnerMedia Explore Sale To Nexstar

The CW Network’s Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz assured the staff at the younger-skewing network Thursday that it’s “too early to speculate what might happen” as joint-parent companies ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia explore a sale of the broadcast network to Nexstar Media Group.

WarnerMedia And ViacomCBS Exploring Selling The CW, Possibly To Nexstar

AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS are exploring a possible sale of a significant stake or all of the CW Network, which they jointly own, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the suitors is Nexstar Media Group, the nation’s biggest TV station group and a large owner of affiliates of the network, the people close to the talks said. The CW caters primarily to teens and young adults.


Tech Trends For ’22: Cloud Still Looms Above All

Executives from WarnerMedia, Graham Media Group, Dalet and Perspective Media Group told a TVNewsCheck webinar last week that the proliferation of direct-to-consumer services and remote/distributed production shifts put the industry’s cloud migration as next year’s biggest trend.

David Zaslav: Hollywood’s Newest Tycoon

As Discovery is poised to conclude a transformational merger with WarnerMedia by the middle of next year, it’s Zaslav’s job to make sure that company, Warner Bros. Discovery, will be well positioned to evolve and thrive amid a torrent of market disruption. Zaslav speaks about the business challenges ahead for the enlarged entity that he will lead as CEO, assuming the $43 billion merger secures regulatory approval.


TV Measurement Standard Remains Firmly In Flux

NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, Nielsen and more are seeking the best way to provide accurate, usable information to buyers and sellers.

Bob Costas Will Host WarnerMedia’s MLB Playoff Coverage

TVN’S TV2025 2021

Cloud Workflow Shifts Expand As Concerns Linger

Executives from WarnerMedia, CBS Owned Stations, Hearst Television and Sinclair told attendees of TVNewsCheck’s TV2020 virtual conference last week that their migration of workflows to cloud technology continues apace since the pandemic. However, concerns over the crucial “last mile” of their networks remain.

Fox Entertainment Closes Acquisition Of TMZ From WarnerMedia

Fox Corp.’s entertainment division has closed its acquisition of TMZ from WarnerMedia, confirming that founder and managing editor Harvey Levin will continue with the newly situated company. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is believed to be worth in the range of $100 million to $125 million.

Capitalizing On The Cloud At TV2025

Executives from WarnerMedia, Sinclair, CBS Owned Stations and Hearst will look at the financial implications of full and partial migrations to the cloud in a panel at TVNewsCheck’s virtual TV2025: Monetizing the Future event on Sept. 23. Register here.

WarnerMedia In Talks To Sell TMZ To Fox

AT&T is in talks to sell WarnerMedia’s celebrity gossip site TMZ to Fox in yet another deal paring down the telco’s entertainment assets, one that comes as it prepares to spin off Warner and merge it with Discovery.

Media Execs Wrestle With Balancing Value Of Cable Nets And Streaming Services

Competing economic incentives are leading NBCUniversal, Disney and WarnerMedia to make difficult decisions about how to program their streaming services. The tension between how to balance streaming video, theatrical release and linear TV is leading to some peculiar choices bound to confuse consumers in what’s becoming an increasingly jumbled landscape.

Dish Network Ends 3-Year Carriage Dispute With WarnerMedia

Dish Network and WarnerMedia have ended their three-year carriage dispute, effectively immediately. HBO and Cinemax, as well as streaming service HBO Max, will now be available to Dish consumers for the first time since 2018.

‘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.”