How the WarnerMedia-Discovery Merger Will Affect This Year’s Upfront

The companies will unite next year, but are conducting business separately

While Covid-19 remains the ultimate upfronts week disruptor—entirely wiping out the traditional May week of presentations last year—AT&T and Discovery are still making a strong run at the title.

The companies upended this year’s upfronts week before it even began on Monday morning by announcing a merger that will radically reshape the media landscape: they will combine their media assets, WarnerMedia and Discovery, to create a new streaming-centric media company.

The deal isn’t expected to close until mid-2022, but it has immediate reverberations for the companies as well as marketers, given that Discovery and WarnerMedia are scheduled to hold their upfronts presentations over the next two days—events that were conceived and finalized prior to this morning’s bombshell news.

WarnerMedia’s upfront presentation is set for Wednesday morning, the company’s first under new ad sales chief JP Colaco, who arrived



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