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WarnerMedia, DC, the Biden-Harris Administration, and Children’s Hospital Association Team to Support Children COVID-19 Vaccination

DC’s iconic Super Heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more will be supporting childhood COVID-19 vaccination as part of an ongoing collaboration between WarnerMedia and the Biden-Harris Administration. DC has created superhero themed decorations and will be providing giveaway items to Children’s Hospitals across the country for anyone that receives the COVID-19 vaccine. The First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, along with Wonder Woman and Superman, met with children receiving the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Children aged 5-12 who receive their COVID-19 vaccination at a Children’s Hospital clinic in November and December will see specially created DC Super Hero themed posters, and receive DC-branded adhesive bandages, and Bendon coloring and activity books as giveaways. Knowing that needles and hospitals can seem scary to children, The First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, along with Wonder Woman and Superman visited Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Sunday, Nov. 14 to support the children receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

WarnerMedia previously worked with Biden-Harris Administration, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control on multiple COVID-19 awareness and education campaigns since the onset of the pandemic. WarnerMedia initially created the Mask Up America campaign in partnership with The Ad Council to support CDC guidelines about wearing a mask to protect ourselves and others.

WarnerMedia also created an additional series of PSAs to showcase talent across sports, news, and studio networks and productions back on-set as a result of the COVID-19 vaccines. This campaign, ‘Getting There’, was in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote vaccinations among hesitant communities. The PSAs ran across WarnerMedia owned cable, streaming, and social platforms along with The Ad Council’s network of distribution platforms.

DC Vaccination poster

AT&T Announces $43 billion deal Merging WarnerMedia with Discovery

WarnerMedia

AT&T has been struggling with what to do with WarnerMedia after its acquisition of Time Warner about three years ago. The tech company had purchased the content company during the rush for tech companies to deliver exclusive content and entice subscribers to their services like cellular coverage. That trend fizzled as quickly as it started and WarnerMedia has been generally rudderless with directions that seemed to change every few months.

Today brings news that AT&T that it is creating a new media company with Discovery to manage WarnerMedia.

AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. AT&T will receive an amount of $43 billion a combination of cash, debt, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T shareholders will receive stock for 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders will own 29%. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company. The board will have 13 members, seven initially from AT&T and six from Discovery, including Zaslav.

The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2022 but still needs to be approved by regulators.

Discovery has been making moves through acquisition and consolidating its organization. The company acquired Scripps in 2017 which included HGTV and Travel Channel in a $14.6 billion deal. The company has done well pushing its non-scripted entertainment. With their own app, the company has 15 million paying subscribers. HBO and HBO Max have about 64 million subscribers. Discovery’s control of WarnerMedia would give the company a boost in scripted entertainment and a natural extension of their brand.

WarnerMedia’s Rooster Teeth Studios Developing Animated Series “Slam!” For HBO Max

WarnerMedia’s Rooster Teeth Studios has announced development on a new animated series for HBO Max titled Slam!. Slam! is based on the critically-acclaimed BOOM! Studios graphic novels created by Pam Ribon and Veronica Fish. Ribon will adapt and executive produce the series. Slam! will be produced by Rooster Teeth Studios, BOOM! Studios, and Minnow Mountain.

Slam! is an adult animated half-hour series set in the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, following two young women who will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line. The series will be brought to life using a groundbreaking combination of rotoscoped and 3D animation to take viewers into the sport in a way never visualized on screen before. 

Slam!

DC Comics Hit with Layoffs Amid WarnerMedia Reshuffle. Future of DC Universe is Unknown

DC Comics logo

Layoffs have been expected all day today as news trickled out from AT&T of layoffs from the company’s WarnerMedia division. Around 600 staffers were expected to be let fo from the company including numerous high-ranking staffers. WarnerMedia became part of AT&T in 2018 and the changes are part of the company’s long-term plan to be more direct to consumers. Reducing costs, including staff, has been a part of AT&T’s strategy since they bought Time Warner.

DC Comics and DC Universe have been impacted by the layoffs. The majority of the staff of DC Universe has been laid off as the entire service’s future has been in doubt since the launch of HBO Max and many of the service’s original programming has moved over to that digital service. DC Universe has recently stopped offering yearly subscriptions switching to only monthly a sign the service may be winding down.

At DC, editor-in-chief Bob Harris, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing and creative services Jonah Weiland, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and executive editor Mark Doyle, who oversaw the rollout of the Black Label graphic novels have all lost their positions. Editor Andy Khouri has also been mentioned by some as having also been let go. Jim Lee will remain as CCO but also be more focused as a liason between the comic publisher and other divisions.

Around one third of DC’s editorial staff have been laid off according to reports.

DC Direct, the company’s in-house collectibles division, has been shut down after 22 years. Its existence was in question with recent deals with McFarlane Toys and other collectible manufacturers who have a greater footprint in markets like big-box retailers.

AT&T, and WarnerMedia’s, focus has been going more direct to consumers in recent years either through AT&T’s services or through new ventures like HBO Max. It’s clear DC is taking that focus as well with its expansion of its original digital comics in the DC Digital First initiative. By building up its digital offerings the publisher will become less reliant on the comic direct market and allow the publisher to build its own community to directly engage.

DC press has not released an official comment as to the changes. We’ll have more updates as more news is released.

DC Donates $250,000 to Charity to Help Comic Stores

DC Comics logo

WarnerMedia has announced that DC is donating $250,000 to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) with the goal of helping comic stores and their employees.

The donation is in response to the need of shops due to the economic impact being felt due to COVID-19. In mid-March, BINC announced they were going to help comic book stores in need.

Binc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting booksellers in need. The Binc Foundation grew out of a wish of bookstore employees to establish a fund to help their colleagues experiencing unexpected financial crises. Binc is dedicated to assisting bookstore employees across the United States in their greatest time of need.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! While you count down the work day and wait for the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – Crime Wave: Erik Larsen and other Creators Turn to Twitter After Rash of NYCC Thefts – If anyone knows anything, please reach out.

ICv2 – WarnerMedia Gets in on the Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Action – What’s one more service to spend money on?

The Hollywood Reporter – Scarlett Johansson Lands $15 Million Payday for Black Widow Movie – Well deserved.

Publisher’s Weekly – Asian-Pop Makes Big Showing at New York Comic Con 2018 – It’ll be interesting to see what impact this has elsewhere.

 

Review

Talking Comics – Doomsday Clock #7

Almost American