Warner Bros. Discovery pulls out of GB News as co-founders quit

Far-right UK newscaster GB News has suffered a major blow, with major shareholder Warner Bros. Discovery pulling out of the broadcaster.

WBD will sell the shares that Discovery acquired prior to the merger of it and AT&T’s WarnerMedia to existing backers Legatum Ventures Limited and Sir Paul Marshall. The transaction will be worth £60 million.

For WBD, the news comes at a period of major consolidation that started with the shuttering of CNN+ after less than a month as it eyes a mid-2023 launch of a new merged HBO Max-discovery+ streamer. 

In further ignominy for GB News following the departure of flagship host Andrew Neil after just eight shows, the broadcaster’s co-founders Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider have resigned as company directors and agreed to sell their stakes. 

Since its launch in June 2021, the long-awaited broadcaster has failed to make much of a dent on the UK news broadcasting status quo. It recorded zero viewers a month after launch, and has lost its status as the alternative reactionary news network to the Murdoch-backed Talk TV. 

Announcing WBD’s departure as an investor, GB News CEO Angelos Frangopoulo said that the company is “enormously grateful to Warner Bros. Discovery for its support and wisdom throughout our start-up phase.”

The broadcaster has also announced a trio of high-profile presenter hires including former Tory defence secretary Michael Portillo.

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