Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. has exited its investment in start-up U.K. news network GB News.
In a brief statement, the company said: “Following the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia earlier this year our portfolio now includes several wholly owned news brands including CNN Worldwide, TVN Group in Poland and Newshub in New Zealand. In light of this, and our continued evaluation of our global and local investment portfolio, we have exited our investment in GB News and are no longer shareholders.”
“Discovery was one of the first organisations to invest in GB News, doing so prior to the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery,” the statement continued. “GB News has built a growing and loyal audience in its first year, bringing another voice to British news broadcasting, and we wish the management and shareholders the very best in their future endeavours.”
Warner Bros. Discovery’s exit is the latest blow for GB News, which launched only in June of last year with the intention of being a disrupter.
Chair and anchor Andrew Neil quit just three months into his tenure, following other high-profile resignations including the network’s director of news and programmes John McAndrew, producer Jamie McConkey, senior producer Sarah Weaver and senior daytime producer and Joceline Sharman.
Discovery was one of several backers – mostly non-U.K.-based financiers – who helped launch the £60 million ($82 million) fledgling network, which had initially aimed to be a Fox News for the U.K.
Despite the development, GB News has, according to one of its hosts, just announced another £60 million’ worth of investment and signed on more anchors, including The Telegraph newspaper’s associate editor Camilla Tominey and the Daily Mail’s political columnist Andrew Pierce.
“I give it a year, tops,” wrote one snide reviewer as we launched in June 2021
— Liam Halligan (@LiamHalligan) August 18, 2022