Warner Bros. Is Selling Off Half Its Assets

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

Professor McGonagall, Professor Sprout, Albus Dumbledore, and Professor Snape from Harry Potter warner bros

Credit: Warner Bros.

It seems that the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, is all but doing what he can to ensure that the entire creative world stays angry at him. While he recently revealed that HBO content would be licensed to rival streaming services, he has garnered a ton of negative press for his other cost-cutting ventures. His latest is working with top attorney Allen Grubman to sell off half of the assets belonging to WBD.

Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Related: Ryan Reynolds and Steven Spielberg Join Forces to Stop Network From Being Destroyed

The company’s situation has become so dire that even legendary filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Martin Scorsese stepped in to beg Zaslav not to dissolve TCM (Turner Classic Movies) after practically every executive was laid off in the last week. The directors made an “emergency” call to Zaslav to ensure he would not completely erase the beloved network. Their efforts were echoed by Ryan Reynolds, who took to Twitter to tell Zaslav not to “f*** with TCM.”

The entertainment world is in flux now, as the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America) is still heavily involved in its strike. They might also be joined by SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), putting even more strain on the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) to make a deal for better pay.

Though the strike has likely put a lot of media companies in a terrible position, the issues at Warner Bros. have been going on longer than when the strike began in May. When Zaslav took over, he became hellbent on cost-cutting moves, leading to massive layoffs, canceling programs, and now trying to sell off assets.

Warner Bros. Seeks $500 Million for Half  Its Publishing Assets

Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash
Credit: Warner Bros.

Per a report by Variety, Zaslav and Grubman are working together on a deal that will seek to sell off half the Warner Bros. publishing assets. Though what is part of those assets has not been made public, it will reportedly “include music from such films as “Purple Rain,” “Evita,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Rent,” several “Batman” films, and many more titles, as well as songs included in iconic films such as “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca.”

We imagine this deal will likely include publishing writes for huge titles, as Zaslav has already begun working on a mega deal to send over HBO scripted content to Netflix. No one had accomplished this feat since 2014, when Amazon Prime struck a deal for shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, and The Wire to be streamed on both.

Since the “streaming wars” began, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and Disney+ have all wanted to take the top spot. Though Netflix reigned supreme for years, Amazon slowly took over the top spot. HBO Max had been a significant player, but that might not be the case since Zaslav combined HBO Max and Discovery+ into the aptly titled app Max.

With Warner Bros. selling off half its assets, the big deal with Netflix is likely to move forward, and more media companies might be trying to get in on this fire sale that Zaslav is enacting.

There could be just one company that wants to pay the $500 million to secure the publishing assets or many companies that want to take a slice of the ailing WBD. The company also reportedly owes a staggering $49.5 billion in debt, and this move is to help alleviate some of that massive debt.

Kong Skull Island
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Warner Bros. Latest Moves Could Sink the Studio Rather Than Save It

We are unsure what the future holds for Warner Bros. right now. Still, these cost-cutting moves will make David Zaslav seem even more like a villain, and actors, producers, and creators will want to stay away from trying to land a contract at the company—which could doom it ultimately.

Do you think David Zaslav is sinking Warner Bros.? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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