The potential merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia likely won’t be finalized for another year but that’s not stopping the companies from picking a new name.
Warner Bros. Discovery will be the name of the combined company after AT&T spins off WarnerMedia—which includes HBO, Turner and Warner Bros.–and combines it with Discovery’s large portfolio of cable networks and streaming video services.
“Warner Bros. Discovery will aspire to be the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world - that is what the company will be about. We love the new company’s name because it represents the combination of Warner Bros.’ fabled hundred-year legacy of creative, authentic storytelling and taking bold risks to bring the most amazing stories to life, with Discovery’s global brand that has always stood brightly for integrity, innovation and inspiration,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who’s been picked to run the combined company. “There are so many wonderful, creative and journalistic cultures that will make up the Warner Bros. Discovery family. We believe it will be the best and most exciting place in the world to tell big, important and impactful stories across any genre – and across any platform: film, television and streaming.”
The new name is arriving just weeks after the merger was first announced. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T would receive $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders would own 29% of the new company.
The transaction is anticipated to close in mid-2022, subject to approval by Discovery shareholders and certain regulatory approvals. The companies said no vote is required by AT&T shareholders and that they have agreements in place with Dr. John Malone, a major Discovery shareholder, and Advance to vote in favor of the transaction. AT&T CEO John Stankey said those agreements represent nearly 45% of the total shareholder vote at Discovery.
AT&T and Discovery said the new company will reach a projected 2023 revenue of approximately $52 billion including more than $15 billion in direct-to-consumer streaming revenues.
In addition to HBO Max and Discovery+, the new “pure play” content company would own a content library with nearly 200,000 hours of programming and will bring together more than 100 brands including HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and more.