A company name is unveiled — Warner Bros. Discovery . And a tagline to go with it: “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
By John Koblin
The new media company that would combine WarnerMedia and Discovery has a name: Warner Bros. Discovery.
David Zaslav, the executive who will run the combined companies if the merger is approved by regulators, announced the name at a town-hall-style meeting on Tuesday with WarnerMedia employees in Burbank, Calif.
At the event, Mr. Zaslav said the Warner Bros. name would go front and center because the studio — founded in the silent-film era by the immigrant brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner — has produced “the greatest content over the last 98 years.”
“At the end of the film,” he said, “you see the word ‘Warner Bros.’ It’s imprinted in all of us.”
In his first opportunity to introduce himself to his prospective employees, Mr. Zaslav, who has been in charge of Discovery since 2007, spoke with the WarnerMedia chief executive Jason Kilar from the stage of the Steven J. Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. lot.
The two executives did not mention the future of Mr. Kilar, who has retained a legal team to negotiate his exit from the company. Mr. Kilar told WarnerMedia employees at a virtual event last week that he would stay in his role into next year. The event on Tuesday came two weeks after AT&T announced it would spin off its WarnerMedia division — the home of HBO, CNN and the Warner Bros. TV and movie studios — and combine it with Discovery Inc.
Mr. Zaslav talked about growing up in New York and described how he had broken into the media business. He also spoke glowingly about CNN and mentioned several HBO shows he said he had watched recently, including the crime series du jour “Mare of Easttown,” the 2001 World War II mini-series “Band of Brothers” and the 2000s show set in the entertainment world, “Entourage.”
Mr. Zaslav noted that he would be able to greet several WarnerMedia employees. But his conversations with them — and with Mr. Kilar — will have to be limited. Until the merger wins approval, a process expected to take about a year, Discovery and WarnerMedia will treat each other as competitors.
A temporary logo for Warner Bros. Discovery was unveiled at the meeting, one that included a new slogan: “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
It is a variation on a line from the Shakespeare play “The Tempest” that appeared at the end of “The Maltese Falcon,” the 1941 Warner Bros. film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart as the private detective Sam Spade.
“It’s one of my favorite movies,” Mr. Zaslav said.
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