The grand experiment that was AT&T’s ownership of WarnerMedia is coming to an end. The phone company will spin off its WarnerMedia assets to the media giant Discovery.
That move will put Discovery CEO David Zaslav over WarnerMedia, most likely leaving current WarnerMedia head Jason Kilar without a job.
Kilar put himself at odds with WarnerMedia filmmakers when he decided that all of the company’s 2021 movies would stream on HBO Max the same day they opened in theaters. Some in the creative community are excited about a change at the top.
But Zaslav is known as a tough boss who specializes in grinding out reality shows. It’s unknown whether he’ll be willing to embrace the big bucks and big risks it takes to launch a scripted series like HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The deal marks a monumental change in the industry and also a monumental failure for AT&T. The thought was that AT&T could succeed by controlling both the content creation and the methods of distribution, but the Dallas-based company was never able to fully get along with Hollywood.