Warner Bros. Discovery Hustling To Produce Unified Upfront at Hulu Theater

Jon Steinlauf Discovery
Jon Steinlauf was named head of ad sales for the combined companies. (Image credit: Discovery)

With Discovery completing its acquisition of WarnerMedia, the two companies' scheduled upfronts are being combined into a single event next month.

The first Warner Bros. Discovery upfront will be held during the week once reserved for the broadcast networks’ presentations on May 18 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden — about four weeks after the transaction closed.

With HBO Max having launched an ad supported version earlier this year, it will be the first time the HBO brand has been presented to advertisers at the upfront. Discovery Plus, Discovery’s direct-to-consumer product also has a light-ads version that will be offered to media buyers.

Other Warner Bros. Discovery brands include the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS and truTV; Discovery’s channels, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and OWN; and CNN. 

The announcement about the unified upfront came from Jon Steinlauf, the Discovery ad sales head last week named chief U.S. advertising sales officer for Warner Bros. Discovery.

In 2018, Steinlauf had to pull together a similar last-minute combined upfront when Scripps Networks Interactive, where he headed ad sales, was acquired by Discovery.

The upfront will also feature Warner Bros. Discovery’s sports properties and the two companies’ advanced advertising products. ■

Jon Lafayette

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.