TCM is reportedly safe at Warner Bros. Discovery after merger

Written by on January 28, 2023

Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz in 2018

Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz in 2018
Photo: Tara Ziembra (Getty Images)

Sure, last year’s Warner Bros. Discovery merger meant that the new media giant immediately became more known for canceling movies and shows than releasing them, but that’s apparently all in the past. Given that Turner Classic Movies is a subsidiary of Warner Bros., the network’s viewers have understandably been concerned about its future. Entertainment Weekly recently dropped by the TCM offices to chat with the channel’s hosts, who assure fans that their favorite throwback films are here to stay.

“All is well right now,” says Alicia Malone. “Nothing’s changed. We all feel very protective over the channel and we know how precious it is, and increasingly rare. So, not on our watch.”

While EW was onsite, new Warners Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav very conveniently happened to drop by, and of course, the TCM hosts reportedly had a great time hanging out with their new boss. (They’re still around, unlike the people who have been laid off.)

“He’s so enthusiastic in his support for TCM, and it’s genuine,” Jacqueline Stewart says. “TCM was on in his office. That’s not just some myth.”

Ben Mankiewicz, TCM’s longest-running host, adds that Zaslav is a classic film buff himself, to the point where he is about to move into the former home of famed Paramount exec Robert Evans and has had a desk belonging to Warner Bros. co-founder Jacob Warner installed in his own office.

“We’ve had a lot of changes in the last five years, one after another,” Mankiewicz says. “New bosses. When [Zaslav] says that they value what we do and that we’re going to be continuing what we do in the foreseeable future, I believe him. And he’s ready. He is connected in this town, and he’s prepared to use that muscle to make sure this town turns out to support us.”

From Hollywood to Sesame Street, it seems like no one has been safe from the widespread cancellations for tax write-offs that took place last year. Batgirl, Stanley Tucci, and, yes, even Big Bird were among those done dirty by the new regime. TCM provides the crucial service of highlighting older films, as well as providing commentary about their historical contexts, and it would be sad to see it go indeed.

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