AT&T combines its WarnerMedia and Xandr businesses

Gerhard Zeiler (WarnerMedia)

AT&T said WarnerMedia and Xandr, its advanced advertising business, are combining to “create a better advertising value proposition for brands, publishers and consumers alike.”

Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer at WarnerMedia and president at WarnerMedia International, will oversee all advertising responsibilities across AT&T. Kirk McDonald, chief business officer at Xandr, will continue to lead Xandr and report directly to Zeiler.

The combination follows the March departure of Xandr CEO Brian Lesser. His resignation follows the September departure of Xandr President Rick Welday, which the Wall Street Journal said came at a time when Xandr had begun to work more closely with WarnerMedia.

“We are in unprecedented times that amplify the priority across both WarnerMedia and Xandr, to deliver valuable results and outcomes for our agencies and clients,” said Zeiler in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to simplify advertising and further our marketplace capabilities for our customers. This is done through one holistic conversation that spans premium content and trusted environments, alongside proven and advanced ad capabilities.”

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AT&T said Xandr will continue to offer advanced media and technology solutions, including addressable video, a premium advertising marketplace that runs on the Xandr Invest platform for buyers, and the Xandr Monetize platform for sellers.

“Xandr and WarnerMedia have always worked hand-in-hand to benefit our incredible advertising partners,” said McDonald in a statement. “This is the next logical step to help empower our clients and continue to ‘Make Advertising Matter’ for consumers. I look forward to the work ahead of us as one powerful combination.”

Xandr and WarnerMedia said they will combine all go-to-market and commercial efforts and the companies added that combination should accelerate innovation for new advertising formats for HBO Max in 2021.

HBO Max will launch on May 27 priced at $14.99 per month. WarnerMedia said that by 2021, the company will add an ad-supported service to HBO Max and, further down the road, the service will be home to live and interactive content along with special events.