And the countdown to Warner Bros. just being called “Warner Bros.” begins.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, WarnerMedia and Discovery have decided on the name of the corporate entity that will emerge from their upcoming merger: Warner Bros. Discovery. That slight change in the Warner name is key as it shifts the focus back onto a production entity instead of the IP silo AT&T aimed to create. Also, it brings the nearly 100 year old studio that much closer to reasserting its independence.
The history of Warner Bros. is filled with buyers who tried to attach their name to the storied brand only to be left behind. The first of these, Seven Arts, literally fused its name and logo to the Warner Bros. shield — just look at the opening moments of The Wild Bunch. The Kinney Company attempted the same thing a few years later before dropping their own name in favor of Warner Communications; the name and logo of which sit before the first Superman film and actually engenders some nostalgia among Gen Xers. Afterward, the corporate name became Time Warner, even when it was owned by Ted Turner, until AOL bolted its name in front of the stately Time Warner logo. The company eventually spun off AOL but became WarnerMedia when AT&T entered the fray.
To put “Warner Bros.” back in the corporate name is a bold choice, especially as it reaffirms the resiliency of the often traded company to put itself first even when it, literally, gets owned. There is some choice irony there as AT&T tried its hardest to bury a lot of the traditions within Warners — including the alteration of the iconic shield to better reflect AT&T’s colors. It is unclear if the gold-and-blue shield will return in the short term (although, the horrendous interim logo above makes use of the color scheme), but we fully expect it will happen eventually. Indeed, we expect “Discovery” to disappear from the corporate name as well. History has proven the company will always be “Warner” first.