The deal combines the two treasure trove of content and foresaw further changes in the streaming era.
The newly established company, Warner Bros. Discovery, will begin public trading on Monday. Zaslav said he would hold a city hall event later in the week for employees of the merged company.
“Our collective energy and true love for these businesses and brands is convinced that our collective energy and true love for these businesses and brands will build the most dynamic media and entertainment companies in the world,” Zaslav said in a note to employees Friday afternoon. “.
Warner Bros. Discovery “promotes the creation of high-quality content, creates more opportunities for underrated storytellers and independent creators, and provides a more innovative video experience and points of engagement,” said Zaslav. We can provide it to our customers. “
First announced in May last year, the deal is a climax moment for Discovery’s Zaslav and his longtime agent, best known for brands such as Animal Planet, TLC and HGTV. The merger will add HBO, CNN, TNT, Turner Sports, Warner Bros. Pictures Studios and many other media assets to the company.
“We are in a good position to be a leading streaming competitor,” Zaslav said in a Friday memo, setting the stage for competing with Disney, Netflix and others.
He confirmed that major streaming services from both sides of the company, HBO Max and discovery +, will be integrated “in the future into a single product.”
The merger has made Zaslav the top layer of the media business, giving it control over everything from legendary movie studios to the global news network.
As influential Light Shed Partners media analyst Rich Greenfield told CNN Business, “David can actually beat Goliath!” Greenfield said, “The Slav and the team have been in two years. I noticed that I was sitting near the pinnacle of Hollywood, which I couldn’t imagine before. “
AT & T CEO John Stanky said goodbye to the media company on Friday with a frank note to the staff. “Reaching this moment was one of the most difficult decisions in my life,” he writes. “I’m not surprised that there was a great deal of anxiety, disappointment, and concern about the changes it caused. With all that in mind, we are confident that we have paved the way.”
“Over time, the combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery will create a stronger company and accelerate the already strong pace of innovation and change you have established,” Stanky wrote.
Warner Bros. Discovery expects $ 3 billion in what companies often call “synergies.” This means that this combination will almost certainly involve a layoff. Already, many of Warner’s top executives have left the company, including WarnerMedia CEO Jason Killer, whose last day was Friday.
In an internal note Thursday, Zaslav wrote, “We are establishing a simpler organizational structure with fewer layers, more accountability, and more resources focused on the screen.”
WarnerMedia’s three major creative executives will also report directly to Zaslav. Casey Bloys, HBO’s Chief Content Officer. Channing Dungey, Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group; Toby Emmerich, Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group.