David Zaslav Says Name of New Company Coming
Jason Kilar’s role unclear, CNN to add direct-to-consumer service
The company resulting from the combination of AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery will have a name, and Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that name will be announced in the coming days.
Zaslav said that he intends to fully integrate the two businesses into one company.
“One company. One culture. One mission. Great stories, great content that entertains people in every language everywhere in the world,” Zaslav said.
The companies said that they expect the combination to result in $3 billion in annual cost synergies.
Also Read: AT&T and Discovery Merge Media Assets Forming TV Giant
It was unclear what role WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar will have in the new company.
“Jason is still the CEO of WarnerMedia,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey. “David’s got decisions he’s got to make of how he wants to organize the business and who ill be in what roles moving forward during this transition period.”
Zaslav said that he didn’t foresee selling off any of the assets WarnerMedia and Discovery are bringing to the party. “We want it all. We want to keep it all,” he said.
In terms of running both Discovery Plus and HBO Max, Zaslav indicated that several strategies were available, including creating a bundle.
“That will be what we’re working on and we’ll see over the next few years what consumers want and how they want it,” he said.
Zaslav said that of the new company’s $52 billion in revenue, it will have $15 billion in revenues from its direct-to-consumer business.
Zaslav said live news and sports are a key to the new business.
“We’re committed to have CNN have the greatest editorial integrity and to be as successful globally,” Zaslav said. “We’re going to come in and we’re going to be supportive and we also intend to fund significantly the direct-to-consumer piece of it.”
While AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia and HBO Max, AT&T’s Stankey said he expected AT&T’s wireless business to continue to benefit from HBO Max.
“David and I intend to continue to work together to make sure that HBO Max is part of the AT&T portfolio,” Stankey said. “We can be a strategic partner to him and I think we have a means to do that. We can kind of get the best of both worlds.”
When Discovery launched Discovery Plus in January, one of its key launch partners was Verizon, AT&T’s key rival.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.