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Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. is an American film and entertainment studio, headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California, and a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Categories

Media and Communications  

#623

Rank

$29.85B

MarketCap US

US United States

Country

Summary

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (WBD) is a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate based in New York City. The company was created through the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc., following the spin-off of WarnerMedia by AT&T. This merger, which took place on April 8, 2022, brought together a wide range of properties and business units under one umbrella.

WBD's portfolio consists of nine distinct business units, each with its own focus and expertise. The flagship division is Warner Bros., renowned for its film and television studios. Additionally, WBD encompasses DC Entertainment, the publisher of popular comic books, and Home Box Office, Inc., which includes the well-known HBO network. The U.S. Networks unit incorporates a majority of the ad-supported cable networks from WBD's predecessors, such as Discovery, Scripps Networks, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner. CNN, a prominent news network, is also part of the company.

The Sports division of WBD includes various properties like Motor Trend Group, AT&T SportsNet, TNT Sports, and Eurosport, among others. The Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment unit focuses on streaming services, with Discovery+ and HBO Max as prominent platforms. This division also includes Warner Bros. Games, a video game publisher. Additionally, WBD has International Networks and holds minority and majority stakes in The CW and the Food Network, respectively, alongside Nexstar Media Group and Paramount Global.


History

Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting System, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Discovery, Inc. have intertwined histories that have led to their current state. Warner Bros. was founded in 1923 by the Warner brothers and initially established itself as a leader in the American film industry. Over time, it expanded into animation, television, and video games, becoming one of the major American film studios

Turner Broadcasting System, founded by Ted Turner in 1965, was based in Atlanta and grew to include cable channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon. Kinney National Company later became Warner Communications and merged with Time Inc. in 1990 to form Time Warner.

In 1979, Warner formed a joint venture with American Express called Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, which owned cable channels like MTV and VH1. Warner later bought out American Express's stake and sold the venture to Viacom, which renamed it MTV Networks. Warner also acquired Popular Library from CBS Publications in 1982. In 1985, Cable Education Network was founded and eventually became Discovery Communications. Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off from E. W. Scripps Company's cable division in 2008.

Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System in 1996, and the company later merged with AOL in 2001 to become AOL Time Warner. The company spun off its cable division and AOL in 2009, and Time Inc. was spun out in 2013. In 2018, Discovery Communications acquired Scripps Networks Interactive and became Discovery, Inc., while AT&T acquired Time Warner. In 2019, AT&T dissolved the Turner Broadcasting System as part of its reorganization of media assets.

On May 16, 2021, AT&T and Discovery announced a merger agreement to create a new publicly traded company. The merger would be structured as a Reverse Morris Trust, with AT&T shareholders holding a 71% interest in the new company's stock and Discovery shareholders holding a 29% interest. The new company, led by Discovery's CEO David Zaslav, would aim to spend $20 billion annually on content and expand their streaming services, including WarnerMedia's HBO Max, to reach 400 million global subscribers. On June 1, 2021, it was announced that the merged company would be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, combining Warner Bros.' storytelling legacy with Discovery's integrity and innovation.

In November 2021, Discovery Inc. and AT&T faced disagreements over the ownership of the new company and the debt transferred to Discovery during their merger with WarnerMedia. However, talks resumed in May 2021. Discovery Streaming CEO JB Perrette discussed the possibility of bundling Discovery+ with HBO Max and merging the two platforms under a single entity. The goal of this transition was to launch a unified platform in markets where Discovery+ had not yet launched. The European Commission approved the transaction in December 2021, and on January 26, 2022, AT&T CEO John Stankey announced that the merger was expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. The merger was approved by Discovery's shareholders on March 11, 2022, and it officially completed on April 8, 2022, with the company's stock trading on the Nasdaq starting April 11.

After the merger, Warner Bros. Discovery retained several top executives from WarnerMedia and filled other leadership roles with Discovery counterparts. CEO David Zaslav emphasized the need for a unified culture within the company and announced plans for $3 billion in cost savings. The merger aimed to reduce subscriber churn by offering a broader range of content through the planned merger of HBO Max and Discovery+.

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) made several changes to its executive positions. Kids, Young Adults, and Classics content will now fall under Warner Bros. Television, and Kathleen Finch will oversee U.S. Networks. Additionally, WBD announced a joint venture with BT Group for their BT Sport and UK Eurosport channels. Luis Silberwasser was appointed as chairman of Sports. WBD reported its second-quarter earnings, with revenue of $9.8 billion and a net loss of $2.2 billion. The company made cuts to HBO Max, including new programming development and direct-to-streaming films. WBD confirmed the renewal of contracts with key HBO executives and revealed plans for a 10-year strategy for DC Films. 

In August, HBO underwent reorganization, and Nexstar acquired a controlling interest in The CW. CEO David Zaslav addressed sale rumors, stating that WBD is not for sale. Warner Bros. Television Group implemented a restructuring that led to layoffs and consolidation of operations. Nexstar completed its acquisition of The CW, and James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-CEO and co-chairmen of DC Films, which will be rebranded as DC Studios. WBD announced licensing agreements with The Roku Channel and Tubi. The plans to merge Discovery+ with HBO Max were amended, with Discovery+ remaining operational alongside the unified service.


Mission

Warner Bros. Discovery's mission is to create and distribute compelling content across various platforms and media formats, entertaining and engaging audiences worldwide. As a leading global entertainment company, their goal is to deliver high-quality content that captivates and resonates with diverse audiences, spanning different age groups and demographics.

Through their extensive portfolio of brands, including Warner Bros., HBO, Discovery, CNN, Cartoon Network, and many others, Warner Bros. Discovery aims to provide a wide range of entertainment experiences that cater to the evolving preferences and interests of their viewers. They strive to produce innovative and immersive storytelling, leveraging their rich intellectual property and creative talent to deliver exceptional content in the form of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and digital media.

By combining the strengths of Warner Bros. and Discovery, they seek to leverage their extensive content libraries, global reach, and technological capabilities to continue pushing boundaries in the entertainment industry. With a commitment to creativity, diversity, and audience engagement, Warner Bros. Discovery aspires to be a leader in delivering compelling entertainment experiences that entertain, inform, and inspire audiences around the world.


Vision

Warner Bros. Discovery's vision is to be a global powerhouse in the entertainment industry, recognized for their exceptional content, innovative storytelling, and unparalleled consumer experiences. They aspire to be at the forefront of shaping the future of entertainment, embracing new technologies and platforms to deliver immersive and engaging content to audiences worldwide.

With a focus on creativity, collaboration, and audience-centric approach, Warner Bros. Discovery aims to be the go-to destination for high-quality and diverse entertainment experiences. They strive to create a vast and diverse content ecosystem that appeals to a wide range of audiences, spanning different genres, demographics, and regions. Their vision encompasses expanding their global presence, cultivating strong relationships with creators, talent, and partners, and constantly pushing boundaries to deliver groundbreaking and transformative entertainment.

Warner Bros. Discovery envisions a world where their content captivates and connects people, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries. They seek to inspire, entertain, and inform audiences through their stories, leaving a lasting impact on individuals and communities. By staying at the forefront of industry trends, embracing innovation, and nurturing creative talent, Warner Bros. Discovery aims to shape the future of entertainment and continue to be a leader in the global media landscape.


Key Team

David Zaslav (President and CEO)

Gunnar Wiedenfels (Chief Financial Officer)

Bruce Campbell (Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer)

David Leavy (Chief Corporate Affairs Officer)

JB Perrette (CEO and President, Global Streaming and Games)

Adria Alpert Romm (Chief People and Culture Officer)

Nathaniel Brown (Chief Corporate Communications Officer)

Dave Duvall (Chief Information Officer)

Lori Locke (Chief Accounting Officer)

Asif Sadiq (Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer)

Avi Saxena (Chief Technology Officer)

Savalle Sims (Executive Vice President and General Counsel)

Patrizio Spagnoletto (Global Chief Marketing Officer, Streaming)

Jon Steinlauf (Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer)

Gerhard Zeiler (President, International)


Recognition and Awards
Academy Awards: Warner Bros. Pictures, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery, has been a powerhouse in the film industry, earning numerous Academy Awards. Films produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures have won numerous Oscars, including Best Picture winners such as "The Departed," "Argo," and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." Emmy Awards: Warner Bros. Television, another division of Warner Bros. Discovery, has been consistently recognized at the Emmy Awards. The company has produced critically acclaimed television shows, including "Friends," "The Big Bang Theory," "The West Wing," and "The Sopranos," among many others, which have received numerous Emmy Awards for their outstanding performances and production quality. DC Comics: DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery, has a rich legacy of iconic comic book characters. Characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League have become cultural icons and have been featured in successful films, TV shows, and merchandise. The influence of DC Comics on popular culture and its dedicated fan base have contributed to the recognition of Warner Bros. Discovery. HBO: Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), a division of Warner Bros. Discovery, has been synonymous with groundbreaking television programming. HBO has received widespread critical acclaim and numerous awards for its original series, such as "The Sopranos," "Game of Thrones," "The Wire," and "Succession." The quality and impact of HBO's content have established it as a leading provider of premium television. Global Reach: Warner Bros. Discovery has a global presence and operates in various international markets. Its brands and content have resonated with audiences worldwide, contributing to the company's recognition and success on a global scale. Through its international divisions, Warner Bros. Discovery has expanded its reach, bringing entertainment, news, and sports to diverse audiences around the world.

Products and Services

Warner Bros. Discovery encompasses a wide range of brands, products, and services in the entertainment industry. These include:

Warner Bros. Entertainment: This division includes various assets such as DC Studios, Turner Entertainment, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, The Wolper Organization, WaterTower Music, and Warner Bros. Studio Operations.

Warner Bros. Pictures Group: Responsible for filmed entertainment and theatrical businesses, including Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Animation Group, and Castle Rock Entertainment. It is led by Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy.

Warner Bros. Television Group: Manages a network of television production companies, including Warner Bros. Television, Telepictures, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios, Williams Street, and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Channing Dungey leads this division.

Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO): Parent company of the premium television services HBO and Cinemax. Oversees the production of HBO Max Originals and Magnolia Network. Casey Bloys serves as chairman and CEO.

CNN Global: Operates the CNN news channel, HLN, and international CNN branches. Led by Chris Licht.

DC Entertainment: Includes DC Comics and its associated intellectual properties, working with other divisions on content adaptations for films, TV series, and video games.

Warner Bros. Discovery U.S. Networks: Owns and operates linear cable networks in the United States, including Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Turner Broadcasting System channels. Kathleen Finch leads this division.

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports: Manages domestic and international sports businesses, including MLB Network, NBA TV, Eurosport, BT Sport, and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Latin America. Led by Luis Silberwasser.

Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment: Oversees direct-to-consumer platforms such as HBO Max and Discovery+, Warner Bros. Games, and Rooster Teeth. JB Perrette leads this division.

Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands and Experiences: Manages Warner Bros. theme parks, studio tours, and other business segments like Global Content Distribution and Advertising Sales. Bruce Campbell serves as Chief Revenue Officer.

Warner Bros. Discovery International: Focuses on regional variations and operations of domestic television channels in different markets. It includes Warner Bros. Discovery Asia-Pacific, Warner Bros. Discovery EMEA, TVN Warner Bros. Discovery (Poland), and Warner Bros. Discovery Americas.

These divisions collectively represent the vast and diverse portfolio of Warner Bros. Discovery, covering film and TV production, premium television, news media, sports, streaming services, gaming, theme parks, and more.


References
Warner Bros. Discovery
Leadership team

David Zaslav (President and CEO)

Gunnar Wiedenfels (Chief Financial Officer)

Bruce Campbell (Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer)

David Leavy (Chief Corporate Affairs Officer)

JB Perrette (CEO and President, Global Streaming and Games)

Industries

Media and Communications

Products/ Services
Amusement parks, comic books, films, music, television programs, video games, web portals, broadcasting, licensing, publishing, streaming, television
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
New York, New York, United States
Established
1923
Company Type
Private company limited by shares or Ltd
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0001437107
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
WBD
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