Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Begin Merger Talks
Yet another massive Hollywood merger is potentially in the offing, and with it comes the possibility that the mainstream filmmaking landscape could shift dramatically in the years ahead.
The meeting between Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount was first reported by Axios, who wrote that “the meeting between Zaslav and Bakish, which sources say lasted several hours, took place at Paramount's headquarters in Times Square.”
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There have been rumors for months about Paramount Global looking for a company to either merge with or buy itself outright, because of the studio’s large debt load. And Zaslav is no stranger to combining his company with other entertainment brands to increase his portfolio. In 2018, his Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, which formerly owned the Food Network and HGTV. In 2022, Discovery merged with Warner Bros., creating its current configuration as Warner Bros. Discovery, which overseas a variety of movie and TV brands like TCM, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Studios, TBS, CNN, and more.
If the deal is consummated that would yet again reduce the number of major Hollywood studios currently in existence. That would probably not be in the best interest of movie lovers. (It may be in the interest of these companies’ stockholders, of course.)
Axios does note that “talks between WBD and Paramount are still early and may not ultimately result in a deal. But given the acceleration of cord-cutting and the growing encroachment of Big Tech on media, neither company can remain on the sidelines for long.”