Discovery and WarnerMedia are ceasing operations in Russia amid the ongoing war with Ukraine, the latest in a string of media and entertainment companies along with retail, tech and other businesses that are pulling out.
The company “has decided to suspend the broadcast of its channels and services in Russia,” Discovery said this morning. “The Company does not believe that this action will have a material impact on its financial condition or results of operations.”
In a memo to WarnerMedia staff Wed., CEO Jason Kilar said the company “is pausing all new business in Russia.”
“This includes ceasing broadcast of our channels, halting all new content licensing with Russian entities, and pausing our planned theatrical and games releases. We are following this situation closely and future business decisions will be made with that context in mind.”
“Our thoughts in this moment are with the people of Ukraine,” the memo said.
(The two companies are still separate entities although a vote by Discovery shareholders set for Friday is a last step and will pretty much cement their merger, triggering WarnerMedia’s spinoff from AT&T.)
Universal Music has also just announced it ceased operations there, along with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and others. Amazon is shutting off Amazon Prime in Russia and stopping deliveries to the country.
Warner Bros. along with other Hollywood studios, already announced plans to halt new releases in Russia.
Reports said CNN has not closed its Moscow bureau but would stop broadcasting in Russia. The state’s draconian censorship law has made reporting very dangerous.
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