HBO’s satirical drama Succession revolves around Logan Roy’s media empire, Waystar Royco, and the unethical antics of its various divisions, from its controversial cable news outlets to its scandalous cruise line. Headquartered in New York City, Waystar Royco operates in 50 countries across four continents, with brands dominating a number of different industries within the media world. Logan founded the company as a ruthless self-made man and is determined to continue as CEO despite his declining health and his kids’ persistent desire that he appoint one of them as his replacement.
Some of Waystar Royco’s divisions featured prominently in ongoing Succession story arcs, like the amusement park chain where the quotable Cousin Greg got his start in the company or the leisure cruise company that was picked apart in a series of brutal Senate hearings. Other divisions were mentioned in passing, like the video game console manufacturer, and have never come up again. Some brands have taken center stage in one episode, like the local TV stations that Logan wanted to acquire and the digital media platform Vaulter that Kendall bought only to promptly shut it down on his dad’s orders, and have rarely been mentioned on the show since.
ATN & Other Broadcast Networks
American Television Network, better known as ATN, is Waystar Royco’s defining brand, and the main reason why a lot of the left-leaning politicians that Logan encounters accuse him of destroying the country. Headed up by the traitorous Tom, ATN’s blanket brand is called ATN Media, encompassing ATN Channel, ATN Business Network, ATN Digital, ATN Audio, ATN Books, and the streaming services ATN Citizens and ATN International. With 200 million monthly viewers, ATN is the most-watched TV news channel in America. Criticized for its conservative bias, ATN appears to be loosely based on Fox News, with Logan Roy as its Rupert Murdoch-esque figurehead.
ATN isn’t the only news channel owned by Waystar Royco, as the company also owns NCN, whose logo is seen briefly in the staff induction video watched by Cousin Greg and later the oddly sympathetic Roman during their management training. It’s unclear exactly what NCN’s political leaning might be, but its logo is similar to NPR, suggesting that it appeals to the progressive market that ATN alienates. LNN has also been named a Waystar asset. Its CNN-like name suggests that, like NCN, it targets the left while ATN targets the right, implying that in the world of Succession, both sides of the political spectrum line Logan’s pockets for their news.
Logan even expanded into acquiring local TV stations, despite his kids insisting that traditional broadcast television is a dying medium. Waystar Royco has also entered the non-news-based streaming market with its digital platform StarGo. StarGo is shown to be antiquated and barely functional, taking forever to load its homepage, leading Roman to attempt to acquire streaming giant GoJo to replace it. The name StarGo might be a dig at Succession’s own network, HBO, whose first attempt at launching a streaming service, HBO Go, was discontinued when WarnerMedia launched HBO Max in its place.
In addition to pumping news stories in front of TV audiences 24 hours a day, Waystar Royco also prints newspapers in various major cities across America. Their primary paper, The New York Globe – published in the city where their corporation is based – has a similar logo (and, presumably, similar content) to Murdoch’s right-leaning paper, the New York Post. Waystar also owns The Correspondent, The Chicago Daily, The Cincinnati Standard (which features prominently in their corporate promotion video), and The Denver Chronicle. At Logan’s cringeworthy Dundee party, Kendall mentions to his date that he was an intern at the latter.
Waystar Royco also owns a few newspapers that publish outside the United States. It publishes a handful of papers across Europe: Les Temps du Paris (“The Paris Times”), Deutschland Heute (“Germany Today”), and The London Journal, which seems to be a British tabloid paper like The Sun or the Daily Mirror based on its name and flashy logo. Waystar also owns the Canadian newspaper Journal Quebecois and the Chinese newspaper The Shenzhen Sun. It’s particularly impressive that Logan managed to get a Western media outlet past the strict censorship in China. This is reminiscent of Murdoch’s failed attempt to expand into Chinese media.
Brightstar Cruise Lines
Waystar Royco’s leisure division, Brightstar Cruise Lines, specializes in vacation cruises around the Caribbean. The division primarily operates out of Florida. With rampant abuse and harassment, Brightstar Cruise Lines is embroiled in scandals willingly exposed by Kendall. Its alleged sexual abuse and cover-ups were the subject of extensive hearings held by the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The investigation uncovered shocking documentation using the term “N.R.P.I.,” short for “no real person involved.” These Senate inquiries led to conversations amongst the Roys about who would be chosen to face the blame and possible prison time for the cruise scandal, highlighting the extent of the family’s callousness.
Brightstar Adventure Park
Brightstar Adventure Park is Waystar Royco’s chain of theme parks and adjoining resorts, with several locations in the United States and around the world. The parks are full of attractions based on Waystar’s most beloved media franchises. The division appears loosely based on the real-life theme parks operated by Disney. Its full name, Brightstar Parks, Experiences, and Products, is identical to Disney’s amusement park division, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. Brightstar parks are a good place to get a foot on the Waystar ladder. Cousin Greg started his Waystar career at a Brightstar park and Roman joined its management training program to show his dad he had initiative.
Waystar Royco has its own movie production company, Waystar Studios, that makes big-budget crowd-pleasing blockbusters. Its most popular movie characters are the mascots of the Brightstar theme parks. Roman was heavily involved in the studio early in his Waystar career but found himself frustrated by the executives’ focus on commerce over art. He was outraged when the studio greenlit an affable Thanksgiving-themed family comedy with a nonsensical high-concept premise, aptly titled The Biggest Turkey in the World. One of Shiv’s most quotable lines also mentions a franchise called Frat Baby, although that may have been a joke mocking the kind of movies Waystar makes, not an actual production of theirs.
But Waystar Studios doesn’t just make mindless blockbuster entertainment about talking turkeys and babies going to college; it also makes lower-budget, awards-baiting indie movies. Shiv wonders why the studio bothers with indie movies when they don’t make as much money as the big franchises. This can be a smart move by big movie studios — losing money on smaller indie movies allows studios to avoid paying tax on the profits from their bigger tentpoles. Waystar Studios also has a subsidiary named Waystar Royco’s Theatrical Productions that puts on stage shows on Broadway and around the globe.
Waystar Royco ventured into the world of digital media with Vaulter, a media start-up acquired by the battery-stealing Kendall. Vaulter is an online news aggregator site whose success has been greatly exaggerated. During a routine inspection, Roman learns that Vaulter’s readership is dropping, far below the numbers that were conveyed to Kendall, and the company is tanking. After failing to prevent its employees from unionizing, Kendall, at Logan’s behest fires them all in one fell swoop, shuts down the whole company, and merges its assets with Waystar’s existing media brands. After being brutally gutted, all that remains of Vaulter are the food and weed sections.
North Star Publishing
Separate from Waystar Royco’s print newspapers and other media, the North Star Publishing division is focused on publishing books. Its logo can be seen in the round-up of Waystar Royco’s brands at its annual shareholders meeting in season 3. If any of the morally corrupt Roys decide to write a memoir about living in an extremely rich and extremely dysfunctional family, they’ve got an in with a publishing house – although, if they do want to publish a memoir through North Star, they’ll probably have to depict Logan in an undeservedly flattering light.
Although the division isn’t a part of any major story arcs, Shiv mentions that Waystar Royco is also in the business of making video game consoles. As far as Shiv is concerned, this entire division could be cut out. It was part of her pitch to Logan for why he should name her as the next CEO of Waystar Royco in season 2, episode 1, “The Summer Palace.” But a video game division allows for more synergy. Just like Waystar’s theme parks can be used to promote its movies and vice versa, the video game market also has plenty of opportunities to tie into big media franchises.
Based on the fact that Roman was put in charge of a Japanese satellite launch, it seems as though Waystar Royco is in the business of telecommunications and distribution. After Roman rushed the satellite launch in a futile bid to impress his dad, the rocket exploded during take-off in one of the most surprising twists in Succession season 1. In addition to filling the airwaves with controversial news content, Waystar Royco also seemingly supplies the airwaves themselves (or, at least, it does when the satellites don’t explode and manage to make it into orbit).
MORE: Succession’s Complete Roy Family Tree Explained