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WBD communications officer Nathaniel Brown to leave company

Nathaniel Brown. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Nathaniel Brown. (Photo via LinkedIn)

The top executive in charge of corporate communications at Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) is leaving the company.

The departure of Nathaniel Brown was first revealed in an email sent to WBD staffers on Friday by the company’s CEO, David Zaslav. He is expected to leave the company within the next two months.

The decision to leave was described as mutual, according to a report by entertainment trade publication Variety. It comes nearly three weeks after business website Axios reported on a secret meeting between Zaslav and Paramount CEO Robert Bakish that was centered around the possibility of merging the two companies.

Brown was not implicated in the leak of the information to Axios, which was later confirmed by other outlets. However, Brown would have been the point of contact at WBD for reporters who wanted to confirm details of the meeting that were revealed in the Axios story.

For more than two decades, Brown has coordinated interviews, press releases and similar matters on behalf of media companies. He began his career at Hachette Filipacchi Media in 1999 before joining Sony BMG one year later as its vice president of corporate communications. In 2005, he joined SiriusXM as a senior vice president and head of corporate communications, a position he held for three years before moving into the same role for Viacom’s MTV Networks.

Brown spent six years at 21st Century Fox as its vice president of corporate affairs and communications before joining Discovery, Inc., the predecessor to WBD. He signed on just two years before Warner Bros. and Discovery consummated their blockbuster merger, and helped coordinate information concerning the launch of Discovery Plus and HBO Max, as well as the rebranding of HBO Max to Max.

“I realize there is never a perfect or easy time to make such a transition, but the start of the new year feels as good as any,” Brown wrote in a memo circulated among WBD employees on Friday. “These last several years have been fast and unforgettable. I joined Discovery in 2019 after a great run at 21st Century Fox, culminating in 21CF’s sale to Disney. Since then, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work alongside [David Zaslav] as part of his leadership team, and it has been an extraordinary ride, particularly these last few years as [Zaslav] has architected Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia and established Warner Bros Discovery.”

Brown does not have another job lined up; instead, he plans to take some time off before focusing on where he will land next.


The full memo sent by David Zaslav about Nathaniel Brown’s departure appears below:

All,

I have some news that I wanted to share with you personally. Nathaniel Brown, our Chief Communications Officer, will be leaving the company after a truly remarkable five-year run.

Nathaniel is hugely talented, one of the absolute best in the business and I have been incredibly fortunate to have him by my side during one of the most pivotal and transformative periods for our industry. Since joining us in 2019 following an accomplished tenure at 21st Century Fox, he has been a tireless and formidable advocate for the company and for me. Among his many accomplishments, he played a critical role in positioning Discovery to acquire WarnerMedia and has continued to skillfully navigate a wide range of cross currents through the creation and restructuring of WBD.

Over the years, Nathaniel has built highly capable, cohesive teams and earned the well- deserved respect and admiration of leaders and colleagues at every level of the organization for his collaborative approach and expertise. At the same time, he has cultivated strong relationships with members of the press across the entire media landscape. Needless to say, we greatly appreciate Nathaniel’s extraordinary efforts and dedication and wish him the very best and continued success.

We are in the process of conducting a thoughtful and thorough search, internally and externally, for a new Comms leader and will let you know when we have selected a candidate. In the meantime, I have asked our head of executive communications, Laura Watson, and the head of comms for Warner Bros Motion Picture Group, Katie Martin Kelley, to oversee corporate communications on an interim basis.

Please join me in thanking Nathaniel for everything he has done!

David

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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