Warner Bros. and Paramount Just Met to Discuss a Possible Mega Merger The two media titans want to consolidate to take on Netflix and Disney+.

By Jonathan Small

Key Takeaways

  • Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount are in preliminary merger discussions.
  • The companies both face significant debt situations.
  • The merger would be a game changer.
entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a meeting that's shaken the media world, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Paramount CEO Bob Bakish had lunch at Paramount's Manhattan headquarters today to discuss a possible merger, according to multiple sources.

Zaslav is also said to have met with Shari Redstone (daughter of Sumner), who owns Paramount's parent company, National Amusements Inc (NAI).

The landmark deal would create a news and entertainment colossus—but there would also be some challenges.

Warner Bros/Paramount would be a "behemoth with an awful lot of debt. There's no question about it," William Cohan, Puck News Founding Partner, told Yahoo Finance.

Related: What's the Deal With These 'Snowball' and 'Avalanche' Debt Repayment Methods? Here's How to Know Which One Is Right For You.

Why the merger?

Paramount Global, known for its movie studio and TV network CBS, has substantial debt ($15 billion) and needs to make a strategic move to compete with monster companies such as Netflix and Disney. Conversely, Warner Bros. Discovery needs to make a big play following its 2022 fusion of Warner Media and Discovery. Under Zaslav's leadership, the company has been meticulous in cutting costs and making money. For example, its streaming operations have turned profitable. But Warner Bros. Discover is still $43 billion in debt.

According to reports, Warner Bros. Discovery is also in talks with Comcast's NBCUniversal.

Stock market reacts

Wall Street did not appear to be impressed with the talks.

Warner Bros. Discovery's shares ended down 5.7%, falling another 1.4% in after-hours trading. Meanwhile, Paramount's stock rose initially during the first hours of the news, but dropped 1% by the end of the day.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

He 'Accidentally Discovered' a Semi-Passive Side Hustle in College — Now He's on Track to Make More Than $500,000 This Year

When a lack of funding put a stop to Zach Downey's pizza vending machines, he stumbled upon another lucrative idea.

Business News

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over iCloud's Alleged 'Enormous Structural Advantage'

The lawsuit asserts that cloud storage on iPhones would be "better, safer, cheaper, and more prevalent" without Apple's policies.

Marketing

The Rules of SEO Are Changing — Here Are 5 Powerful Strategies to Help You Rank in 2024

Do you need help to rank well on Google due to new algorithm updates? Discover five SEO strategies that work in 2024.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Jason Kelce Officially Retires from the NFL After 13 Seasons With the Philadelphia Eagles

Kelce officially announced his retirement from the league after 13 seasons in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.