Dave Meltzer has commented on a potential minefield awaiting AEW come their 2023 contract negotiations with TBS as a corporate merger could wreak havoc.
WarnerMedia – which owns TBS and TNT – is set to merge with Discovery and WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar already a casualty with warnings of more cuts to come to the new media conglomerate. The New York Post has reported that new CEO David Zaslav is expected to “take a scalpel” to the new company which will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery.
Billionaire media mogul John Malone, who is a longtime stakeholder in Discovery previously commented that “cost synergies” – read “cuts” – for the newly merged company should be expected to “easily go past” $3 billion to $4 billion a year.
In his Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has commented on the merger and how it could affect AEW going forward into their next negotiations with the network in 2023:
“One very important thing in the future of AEW come 2023 when negotiations are going on for a new deal is that it looks like Kathleen Finch, the former Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery, will be the person put in charge at TBS as part of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger. So the station will have her vision.”
“Dynamite is doing very well, and it’s actually the highest-rated thing on the station other than the NBA or other major sports, but wrestling has a stigma. The other would be her view of programming in regard to things like blood and swearing.”
Long-time wrestling fans don’t need to be reminded of what corporate mergers can do to a wrestling company. The merger between AOL and Time Warner in the nineties was the ultimate nail in the coffin of WCW as those in charge didn’t want wrestling on their network. It remained that way for 18 years until AEW debuted on TNT with Dynamite in October 2019.