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Extra: Warner Bros. Discovery names board; raft of Boat Rocker sales

The media company has sold Mary Makes it Easy to Food Network in the U.S., as well as channels in Europe and Asia, as part of its latest deals push.
March 16, 2022

Warner Bros. Discovery board members announced

Less than a week after Discovery Inc. shareholders voted to approve the acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T, Discovery has announced the full slate of board members for the combined company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

The directors will be elected and begin serving on the board effective at the closing of the merger, which is expected to occur early in the second quarter of 2022.

“I look forward to working alongside and benefiting from the collective experience of this group of distinguished leaders to create and grow the world’s most dynamic media entertainment company and a top-tier competitor in streaming,” said David Zaslav, future president & CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, in a statement.

The Warner Bros. Discovery board will consist of 13 directors, with six designated by Discovery and seven by AT&T. The current AT&T board members being named to the Warner Bros. Discovery board will step down from the AT&T board upon the merger’s closing.

Samuel A. Di Piazza, a current member of the AT&T board, has been designated by AT&T to serve as board chair of Warner Bros. Discovery. Zaslav, meanwhile, is a Discovery designee in addition to his role as president and CEO of the merged company.

Making up the rest of the board are Robert R. Bennett, Li Haslett Chen, Richard W. Fisher, Paul A. Gould, Debra L. Lee, Dr. John C. Malone, Fazal Merchant, Steven A. Miron, Steven O. Newhouse, Paula A. Price and Geoffrey Y. Yang.

Boat Rocker secures sales of kitchen and reno series 

Proper Television’s Mary Makes it Easy and Motel Makeover have secured global distribution deals as part of a raft of unscripted sales announced by parentco Boat Rocker.

Mary Makes it Easy (25 x 30 min., pictured) has been sold to Food Network in the U.S., where it premiered last month, as well as to Canal+ in Poland; TV Paprika in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova; Ananey in Israel and 24Kitchen in the Netherlands. The CTV Life series features host and former MasterChef Canada winner Mary Berg in her own kitchen, offering solutions to common kitchen blunders.

Boat Rocker has also sold Proper’s Motel Makeover (6 x 30 min.) to TVA’s CASA for French Canada, Seven ProSieben in Germany and Tallit in Israel. The series, which was commissioned as a Netflix Original, features motelliers April Brown and Sarah Sklash as they renovate an old motel in Sauble Beach, Ontario.

Anna’s Occasions (10 x 22 min., Triton HQ), which features baker Anna Olson creating desserts from her kitchen, has been sold to Corus Entertainment, OSN in the Middle East and Northern Africa, TV Paprika in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova, and Ananey in Israel. Ananey has also acquired season four of Bake with Anna Olson and Inspired with Anna Olson.

OSN also picked up APTN series Chuck and the First Peoples’ Kitchen (13 x 30 min.), produced by Andicma Media, which follows chef Chuck Hughes as he examines ancient First Nations culinary traditions.

Rounding out the sales is Colin & Justin’s Cabin Pressure (39 x 30 min., Peace Point Entertainment), which has been acquired by the UK’s Channel 5. The series follows the interior design duo as they renovate a lakeside cabin into a second home.

CPH:DOX adds Ukrainian films to program

In solidarity with the country of Ukraine and its filmmakers, CPH:DOX has added three Ukrainian films to this year’s program. In all, a dedicated program of seven films will focus on Ukraine during CPH:DOX 2022, which runs from March 23 to April 3.

The trio of new films added to CPH:DOX are The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Iryna Tsilyk, Ukraine/Lithuania), an audience favorite from Sundance and Berlin; Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine/Netherlands), another audience favorite from Sundance and Berlin, as well as an IDFA award winner; and This Rain Will Never Stop (Alina Gorlova, Ukraine/Germany/Latvia), which earned the Best Debut Film prize at the 2019 IDFA Film Festival.

The new entries join the previously announced films A House Made of Splinters (Simon Lereng Wilmont, Denmark/Ukraine), Novorossiya (Enrico Parenti & Luca Genari, Italy), Outside (Olha Zhurba, Ukraine/Denmark/Netherlands) and Treasures of Crimea (Oeke Hoogendijk, Netherlands).

“Like everyone else, CPH:DOX is of course very concerned about the current situation in Ukraine, and therefore we have chosen to expand our program and give more space to some of the many brave Ukrainian filmmakers who in recent years have created strong and important films with the conflict as a backdrop,” said Niklas Engstrøm, CPH: DOX’s artistic director, in a release. “All our thoughts go to Ukraine and the many refugees who are currently being forced to leave their homeland.”

WaterBear Network launches first linear channel on Samsung TV Plus

Conservation-focused free streaming platform WaterBear Network announced the launch of a linear FAST channel on Samsung TV Plus across the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The linear channel features WaterBear’s original, impact-generating content and makes it available to greater numbers of people through a wider ecosystem.

“Content consumption is changing, and the rapid rise of FAST channels is testament to this,” said WaterBear head of distribution Oliver Taprogge in a news release. “Samsung is at the forefront of this, and Samsung TV Plus is the perfect partner to ensure our content inspires, educates and drives deeper impact and change through a new audience.

“The partnership will deliver a powerful selection of content that highlights the need for change. With the WaterBear platform now already available across 194 countries, this exclusive FAST channel is a major step in telling the world’s untold environmental stories.”

With files from Kelly Townsend, Playback Daily

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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