The merger of Discovery and Scripps Networks Interactive became official on Tuesday, according to emails sent to employees.
In July 2017, Discovery reached a deal to purchase Knoxville-based Scripps for $14.6 billion dollars, in a move that will combine some of the largest networks under one brand.
"Today marks the combination of two of the most respected companies in media; the creation of a bouquet of deeply loved brands; and a new beginning as one dynamic company, to be known going forward simply as: “Discovery,” wrote Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Scripps brings HGTV, Food Network, DIY, the Travel Channel and more to Discovery, which already operates networks like TLC, OWN, ID, and Animal Planet. The company now expects to reach 3 billion viewers in 230 countries, according to a promotional video.
Zaslav writes, "We are the global leader in real life entertainment, serving a worldwide audience of passionate and loyal superfans with trusted brands that inspire, inform and entertain.
Discovery officials said the current Scripps Knoxville campus will house the company's newly established National Operations Headquarters alongside the major Scripps brands, digital teams and corporate functions currently working there
The employees were told work would begin early Wednesday morning to change the signage on the buildings.
With the deal, Scripps Network founder and CEO, Ken Lowe, is stepping down from the day to day operations, but will join Discovery's board of directors.
"This is a difficult note to write after so many years with the Scripps family of companies, and 23 years of Scripps Networks. But today, at around 2 p.m., it will be time for me to hand over the reins of this incredible business to and Discovery," Lowe wrote in an email to employees.
He praised the employees for their hard work and dedication, and encouraged them to look forward to great things.
"Today is a historic day for our company, as we take the next step in our journey. Combining with Discovery will give our brands the opportunity to shine on the global stage and create a business that can reach more people than ever before on every platform imaginable. Discovery is the right partner for this company, and together I have no doubt that we will achieve amazing things," Lowe wrote.
Zaslav echoed that sentiment in his email to his new team.
"We are now a different kind of media company, creating exceptional value by bringing compelling, real life content to viewers around the world and you, our global employees, are the recipe for our success. Whether you’ve been part of Discovery for two decades or two minutes, I hope you share my excitement for the journey ahead as we create the global leader in real life entertainment," Zaslav wrote.