Axios Pro: Media Deals

June 08, 2023

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Good morning, Media Deals readers!

🗣️ Quote of the day: "It's absolutely conceivable that the streaming subscription model is the crypto of the entertainment business," director Steven Soderbergh told Vulture.

1 big thing: Value by half

Warner Bros. Discovery stock price
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Warner Bros. Discovery's stock has lost about half of its value since it debuted in April 2022 following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery.

Why it matters: Chris Licht's ousting from CNN is just the latest drama within WBD, as CEO David Zaslav tries to improve cash flow across the media giant's businesses to pay down its hefty debt load, Kerry writes.

By the numbers: The stock closed at $24.78 on its first day of trading, and it ended yesterday at $13.12, a 47% drop.

Context: Restructuring charges from its merger have dogged the stock.

  • In August, the company reported a net loss of more than $3.41 billion, stemming from a combo of transaction and integration expenses. In December, it upped its estimated restructuring charges.
  • Shares also fell after the unveiling of Max, a combined streaming service for Warner Bros., HBO and Discovery content.

The intrigue: Zaslav could be looking to spin off assets ahead of any larger sales. But it's doubtful CNN would be on the table. CNN is likely valued at far less than it was worth in late 2020, when Jeff Zucker explored a deal to sell the network for roughly $10 billion, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

View archive