The CNN structure in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, May 17, 2021.
Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images
There’s a location for CNN in the proposed $43 billion mix of WarnerMedia and Discovery, billionaire media magnate John Malone informed CNBC in a taped interview that aired Thursday.
“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” stated the cable leader and long time chairman of Liberty Media, which is a significant investor in Discovery. “I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent.”
Back in May, AT&T revealed an offer to integrate its content system WarnerMedia with Discovery. Under the contract, AT&T will relax its $85 billion acquisition of TimeWarner, which closed almost 3 years back and form a brand-new and different media business with Discovery. It will unite AT&T-owned CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio and Discovery’s channels, consisting of Animal Planet, TLC and its name Discovery Channel. At the time of the statement, the celebrations had actually stated they wanted to close the deal in the middle of next year.
“A coward’s way out would be to sell [CNN] or spin it off and then sell it,” Malone stated, in reaction to a concern from CNBC’s David Faber on whether the cable television news network would suit the video streaming aspirations of the merged business, which will be called Warner Bros. Discovery.
Malone voiced assistance for Discovery CEO David Zaslav who will lead the brand-new business. Zaslav has actually stated in the past that he’s dedicated to keeping CNN. Discovery was not instantly offered to comment particularly on Malone’s remarks. Zaslav, prior to signing up with Discovery, invested almost 20 years dealing with a range of various jobs at NBC, consisting of the launch of CNBC and MSNBC.
Shortly after the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger was preliminary revealed, Malone informed CNBC at the time that he sees the combined business ending up being the No. 3 worldwide banner behind Netflix and Disney+.
Malone stated then and now that Zaslav is the best leader for Warner Bros. Discovery.
“I mean, he’s the kinda guy that can deliver a Scripps merger or a TimeWarner deal. Without the Scripps deal, Discovery would really be in the third tier today,” Malone stated, indicating Discovery’s almost $12 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which was finished in March 2018. The tie-up brought then-Scripps owned HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network under the Discovery umbrella.