November 2023 - Warners Brother Discovery | 1st Runner Up
Warner Brothers Discovery, the media conglomerate that emerged from the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, is making waves in the industry, and not in a good way.
A major point of contention with Warner Brothers Discovery is CEO David Zaslav’s leadership decisions. Zaslav was the driving force behind the controversial rebranding of HBO Max, a move that perplexed and frustrated many subscribers. He abandoned the beloved HBO branding and relaunched the service with the Discovery streaming assets as “Max.” This change disrupted the familiarity and trust HBO had built with its audience for years. It felt like a bait-and-switch move, leaving customers bewildered and questioning the company’s commitment to the quality content they once enjoyed. The decision to overhaul a well-established brand like HBO was, to many, a bad business move.
Warner Brothers Discovery’s prominent role in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) fight over residuals in the streaming world is another red flag. The public discussions spurred by the streaming Summer of ‘Suits’ and the pittance paid in residuals by Netflix, highlight the turmoil and frustration for writers.
Streaming platforms are changing the landscape of content consumption, and the fight over fair compensation for writers in this new paradigm is crucial. Zaslav’s involvement and the disputes that have arisen underscore the company’s priorities, which appear to prioritize profits over the fair treatment of creative professionals.
Perhaps the most glaring example of Warner Brothers Discovery’s questionable practices is the diminution of CNN. Once a global news powerhouse, CNN has seen a noticeable decline in its reputation and influence under Zaslav’s leadership. This includes the reduction in newsroom staff, changes to programming that some have labeled as sensationalism over substance, and a decline in the network’s overall editorial standards. The dilution of CNN’s credibility as a trusted news source raises concerns about the company’s commitment to journalistic integrity and the public’s right to unbiased, quality reporting.
Warner Brothers Discovery’s actions and decisions, as overseen by CEO David Zaslav, demonstrate a disregard for the interests and expectations of its audience and creative professionals who’ve been loyal to them from the beginning. To truly serve their audience, this media conglomerate must reassess its priorities, show commitment to quality content and journalism, and ensure fairness for those who contribute to its success. If not, Warner Brothers Discovery may be left in the dust amidst the sea of streaming services that are committed to serving their audiences. Before it’s too late, WarnerBrothersDiscovery.Sucks may just be the only way we can get them to listen, or the best way for them to listen to us.