Who owns Warner Bros? Warner Bros. is currently owned by WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T Inc. AT&T is an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate. In 2018, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, which was the parent company of Warner Bros., and rebranded Time Warner as WarnerMedia. Therefore, the ownership of Warner Bros. ultimately lies with AT&T Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., commonly known as Warner Bros., is an American entertainment company that produces film, television, and streaming content. It was founded on April 4, 1923, by four brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner. Over the years, the ownership of Warner Bros. has changed along with the entertainment industry landscape.
1. Early Years:
In the beginning, Warner Bros. was a family-owned business with the four Warner brothers as the main stakeholders. They led the company to significant success in the 1920s and 1930s with popular films like “The Jazz Singer” (1927), which introduced synchronized sound to the movie industry.
2. Post-WWII Era:
After World War II, the company went through a decline in the late 1940s and underwent several management changes. Jack Warner took command after ousting his brother Harry in 1956 and led the company to produce successful movies.
3. Kinney National Company:
In 1967, the remaining Warner brothers sold the company to Kinney National Company, a conglomerate headed by Steve J. Ross, for $64 million. The company was then renamed Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.
4. Warner Communications:
Kinney National Company spun off its non-entertainment assets in 1972, renaming itself Warner Communications. The new company focused on film and television production and entered the video game industry in the late 1970s.
5. Time Inc. Merger:
In 1989, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., a major American magazine publisher, to create Time Warner Inc., a global media and entertainment conglomerate.
6. AOL Merger:
In 2000, Time Warner Inc. merged with America Online (AOL), a leading internet service provider, to form AOL Time Warner, with AOL shareholders owning 55% of the new company. This merger would ultimately be considered a failure, as the value of AOL’s stock plummeted in the early 2000s.
7. Time Warner:
The company dropped AOL from its name in 2003 and reverted to Time Warner Inc. It continued to focus on its core film, television, and publishing businesses, with Warner Bros. as a key subsidiary.
8. AT&T Acquisition:
In June 2018, American telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. completed its acquisition of Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion. Time Warner was reorganized under the new parent company and renamed WarnerMedia, with Warner Bros. as a major division.
9. Discovery Merger:
In May 2021, it was announced that AT&T would combine WarnerMedia with American multinational mass media company Discovery, Inc. to create a new standalone company, Warner Bros. Discovery. The deal is expected to close in mid-2022, pending regulatory approvals. As of now, Warner Bros. is a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T Inc. The ownership will change once again when the merger with Discovery, Inc. is completed, forming the new company Warner Bros. Discovery.
Who was the original founder?
Warner Bros. was originally founded by four brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner. They officially established the company, initially called Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc., on April 4, 1923. The eldest brother, Harry Warner, was born as Hirsz Wonskolaser on December 12, 1881, in Krasnosielc, Poland. His family immigrated to the United States in 1895, eventually settling in Youngstown, Ohio. Harry worked different jobs like selling bicycles and soap.
The Warner brothers’ entry into the entertainment industry began when they purchased a struggling Nickelodeon in 1903. With Harry’s focus on management and finances, he helped shape the company as it expanded into film distribution. Albert Warner, the second eldest brother, was born as Aaron Wonskolaser on July 23, 1884, in Krasnosielc, Poland. He played crucial roles in the family’s early business ventures and managed the brothers’ film exchanges. Like Harry, Albert concentrated on management, finances, and administration, contributing to the company’s success. Sam Warner, born as Szmul Wonskolaser on August 10, 1887, in Krasnosielc, Poland, was a vital figure in the company’s adoption of sound in motion pictures.
He advocated for syncing sound with images, which ultimately resulted in the development of Vitaphone, a sound-on-disc system. This innovation played a key role in the success of the first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer (1927). Tragically, Sam passed away on October 5, 1927, just one day before the film’s premiere. The youngest brother, Jack Warner, was born as Itzhak Eichelbaum on August 2, 1892, in London, Ontario, Canada. He was the most creative of the siblings and possessed a keen eye for talent. With a passion for movies, Jack became the driving force behind the studio’s production, overseeing numerous legendary films, actors, and directors throughout his tenure. The Warner brothers started with humble beginnings, working together to establish Warner Bros.
as one of the most influential film studios in Hollywood history.
FAQ: Who owns Warner Bros?
1. Who is the current owner of Warner Bros?
The current owner of Warner Bros is WarnerMedia, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
2. When was Warner Bros founded?
Warner Bros was founded on April 4, 1923, by four Warner brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack.
3. What is Warner Bros known for?
Warner Bros is known for producing and distributing various forms of entertainment, including films, television shows, and video games. They have a long history of creating successful franchises such as Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, and the Looney Tunes characters.
4. Are there any sister companies to Warner Bros?
Yes, there are several sister companies to Warner Bros, including HBO, Cinemax, Turner Broadcasting System, DC Entertainment, and more.
5. What is the relationship between Warner Bros and WarnerMedia?
Warner Bros is a major entertainment division within WarnerMedia, a larger media conglomerate. Under the ownership of AT&T Inc., WarnerMedia oversees the various subsidiaries and divisions that contribute to its global entertainment and media offerings.
Sources for More Information
- Warner Bros. Official Website
- Warner Media Group Website
- Warner Bros. SEC Filings
- The New York Times – Warner Bros. Company News