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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

Warner Bros. Discovery Goes Up 7.5% on First Day of Trading

Warner Media is now officially part of Discovery Inc. and will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., a company whose shares gained nearly 7.5 percent on its first day of trading.

Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank will be part of the new standalone media and entertainment company, which began trading Monday under the new ticker symbol WBD.

David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive, said that with its collective assets and diversified business model, the company offers the most differentiated and complete portfolio of content across film, television and streaming.

“We are confident that we can bring more choice to consumers around the globe while fostering creativity and creating value for shareholders,” Zaslav said in a statement. “I can’t wait for both teams to come together to make Warner Bros. Discovery the best place for impactful storytelling.”

On Thursday, the day before the transaction closed, executive staffing announcements were made in connection with Warner Bros. Discovery.

Casey Bloys continues as chief content officer of HBO & HBO Max; Channing Dungey continues as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group in Burbank; and Toby  Emmerich continues as chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group also in Burbank, with responsibility for Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-based films and Warner Bros. Feature Animation.

Additionally, Adria Alpert Romm will serve as chief people and culture officer, having held the same role at Discovery Inc.; David Leavy will be chief corporate affairs officer, overseeing  key business functions and groups, including corporate relations, global government relations and public policy, corporate marketing and global communications; and JB Perrette, formerly chief executive of Discovery Streaming and International, will assume the role of chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, with responsibility for HBO Max and Discovery+, as well as all direct-to-consumer and gaming around the world.

Under terms of the agreement at close AT&T; received $40.4 billion in cash and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. Also, shareholders of AT&T; received 0.241917 shares of WBD for each share of AT&T; common stock they held at close. As a result, AT&T; shareholders received 1.7 billion shares of WBD, representing 71% of WBD shares on a fully diluted basis. Discovery’s existing shareholders own the remainder of the new company, according to a release from the company.

Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) closed Monday up $1.70, or 7.5 percent, to $24.47 on the Nasdaq, a market that declined 2.2 percent for the day.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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