Variety has reported that Discovery shareholders officially voted to merge with WarnerMedia to create Warner Bros. Discovery in a $43 million deal. The news comes after a shareholder meeting on Friday where the decision was reached. The spinoff of WarnerMedia and AT&T is set to take effect in early Q2 with a more specific estimate of April 11-28 being put forward. David Zaslav from Discovery will serve as president and CEO of the merged company with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar stepping down. Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to deal with significant debt in the immediate time after the merger, but executives have promised to reduce the leverage ratio from 4.5 times earnings to 2.5 to 3 times earnings within two years of the merger’s completion.
WarnerMedia is a large company that includes many studios, including HBO, HBO Max, CNN, Warner Bros., DC Films, New Line Cinema, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Rooster Teeth, and more. The company also partially owns The CW alongside Paramount. Discovery is another large umbrella with ownership of Discovery Plus, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.