Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Who Wins in Warner Media-Discovery Merger? Why, Oprah Winfrey, Of Course, As Usual


As you’ve read today, AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia into a new company and merging it with the Discovery Network. This means everything that isn’t Disney or Netflix or NBC Universal will now be one. HBOCNNWarnerBrosTNTTBS etc and DiscoveryHistorySmithsonianTLC and so on.

Who wins? Oprah Winfrey comes out of this looking pretty good. Last December 2020 she sold 95% of her OWN Network to Discovery for $36 million in stock. She kept 5% of the network and keeps running it herself. Not bad.

At the time, her Harpo Inc, which received the stock, declared it would sell half the shares it got. The total then was 1.34 million. They were likely sold but even if they weren’t, Oprah had a nice chunk of Discovery. Now she has a nice chunk of the new company.

(Just as a note, when Oprah got the stock it was selling around $25. In March it a high of $77. Today it’s at $35. If she sold at the high she could have made $51 million just from the remaining half. )

This means OWN is a cousin of all those companies that I mentioned above. Oprah also has a stake in CBS, where she does specials, like the royals, appears on “60 Minutes,”  and on bff Gayle King’s “CBS This Morning.”

Plus Oprah is doing specials for Apple TV, like her mental health series with Prince Harry. On Saturday night, Oprah appeared on Clive Davis’s Zoom Gala and talked just about her friendship with Tina Turner.

She also has the number 1 book in the country.

Living well is the best revenge, I’d say!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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