Cutting costs, merging, shelving Batgirl: is this the end of HBO Max? - The Guardian

Cutting costs, merging, shelving Batgirl: is this the end of HBO Max? - The Guardian

Aug 08, 2022 1 min, 16 secs

The drama has been coming thick and fast at the AT&T-owned entertainment behemoth Warner Bros Discovery – unfortunately for the company, and its viewers, the action is all taking place in its boardrooms.

The company was formed after the spin-off of WarnerMedia by AT&T and its merger with Discovery in April last year, media watchers have been waiting to see how the new media powerhouse would reshape its business.

Rumors of staff layoffs and series cancelations swirled until the bomb was finally dropped by Warner/Discovery’s CEO, David Zaslav, during a second-quarter earnings report last Thursday: in 2023, HBO Max and Discovery Plus would be combined into a single entity, ideally with a name that doesn’t sound like a brand of batteries.

One slideshow card summarily circulated as a meme on social media broke down the presumed appeal of the service, as contrasted with Discovery Plus.

Whereas HBO Max is “male skew”, “lean in” and “home of fandoms”; Discovery Plus is “female skew”, “lean back” and “home of genredoms”.

Numbers aside, though HBO Max’s subscriber base dwarfs that of Discovery Plus by a margin in the dozens of millions, it was a success on the sole basis of bringing good entertainment to the people.

The mad fusion of HBO Max with Discovery Plus – home of the 90 Day Fiancée Universe, the Food Network, and other reality TV stalwarts – runs the risk of losing the exploratory spirit that gave fan-beloved series like Search Party and The Other Two a home.

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