In what will likely be overturned by the Department of Justice or FTC, Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery are in early merger talks.
This is a developing story. One can only hope that the government steps in and stops it in the path over monopoly concerns. Help us DOJ and FTC, you’re our only hope!
What we know at the moment is that Shari Redstone is looking to sell her shares in Paramount Global parent company National Amusement. According to various trade reports, Paramount Global’s Bob Bakish sat down with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, presumably to discuss what Redstone could get for the company. A separate meeting also took place between Redstone and Zaslav about CBS.
There’s really no good way to read anything into this. Zaslav has certainly become an enemy of film and TV audiences since coming into ownership of Warner Bros. through the Discovery merger. Click on the David Zaslav tag and you’ll see just how much I’ve written about the CEO we love the least. Can you imagine the cuts that will also transpire over redundant positions should the two century-old studios merge?!? Unlike Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, there’s no potential to upside to this merger. There’s also no getting rights back to comic book characters. Nothing. I certainly do not need to rehash every single thing that Zaslav has done to frustrate consumers.
We have two companies that are basically the same. I don’t see any reason for a merger to go forward and neither should you. In any event, if it goes forward, which it shouldn’t, it will only pave the way for more unnecessary consolidation between media companies. What would happen to the likes of Paramount+, Showtime, HBO, and the terribly named Max? We’re also living in an era where streaming services are outright removing original titles just because they can save money on a tax write-off.
This is a consolidation between two historic Hollywood studios that doesn’t need to happen. Not now. Not ever. Adolph Zukor, Jesse Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, and the Warner brothers would be rolling over in their graves at what is happening with their beloved studios.