With the launch of Warner Bros. Discovery’s combined streamer Max just a week away, the company today took the stage at Madison Square Garden for its annual upfront presentation. The launch represents a year in progress for the company, which could only tease the platform during its May 2022 upfront, just weeks after its merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia.
Like most presentations throughout the week, the show was scaled back compared to the typical star-studded glitz of upfront week. And while the likes of NBCUniversal, Fox and Disney marched out a roster of news and sports talent, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to feature executives only.
“What you’re about to see is not exactly the show we expected to do today,” said Jon Steinlauf, Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief U.S. ad sales officer. “We made the decision to only have executives on stage out of respect for our talent and the WGA,” which is currently on strike.
However, the show did include a handful of pre-recorded segments, including one featuring Guy Fieri, another showing Anderson Cooper discussing CNN from the network's set and a clip starring the cast of TNT's “Inside the NBA”—Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson—to add humor and entertainment to the show.