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John Malone says WarnerMedia-Discovery getting rid of CNN would be the ‘coward’s way out’


On Monday May 17, 2021, the CNN Building in Atlanta, Georgia was inaugurated.

Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images

CNN is a good option in this area proposed $43 billion combinationWarnerMedia DiscoveryJohn Malone is a multi-billionaire media mogul who spoke to CNBC on Thursday in an interview.

The cable television pioneer, long-standing chairman of Liberty Media (a large shareholder in Discovery), stated that he would love to see CNN return to the type of journalism it began with. “I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent.”

In May 2005, AT&TThe company announced that it would combine WarnerMedia and Discovery’s content unit. Under the agreement, AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of TimeWarner, which closed just about three years ago and form a new and separate media company with Discovery. It will bring together AT&T-owned CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio and Discovery’s channels, including Animal Planet, TLC and its namesake Discovery Channel. The parties stated that they expected to close the deal in the middle next year, at the time of announcement.

The only way for a coward to escape would be to sell [CNN]Or spin it out and sell it,” Malone responded to CNBC’s inquiry. David FaberOn whether or not the cable news network will fit in the video streaming ambitions the merged firm, which will also be named Warner Bros. Discovery.

Malone backed Discovery CEO David Zaslav as he leads the new firm. Zaslav stated in the past that his company was not for sale. committed to keeping CNN. Discovery could not comment on Malone’s comments immediately. Zaslav, before joining Discovery, spent nearly two decades working on a variety of different projects at NBC, including the launch of CNBC and MSNBC.

Shortly after the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger was initial announced, Malone told CNBC at the timeHe sees the combination company as the No. Netflix and Disney+ are the No. 3 worldwide streamers.

Malone stated that Zaslav was the correct leader both then and now. Warner Bros. Discovery.

He’s the type of guy who can execute a Scripps merger, or a TimeWarner transaction. Malone pointed out Discovery’s $12 billion acquisition by Scripps Networks Interactive. completed in March 2018. Under the Discovery umbrella, this tie-up brought together the then-Scripps-owned HGTV channel, Travel Channel, and Food Network.