Television

Turner Broadcasting realigning entertainment, news businesses

NEW YORK: Turner Broadcasting System is in the middle of restructuring its divisions in order to increase strategy focus, align and expand operations.

The aim is create three broader, integrated operating units-Entertainment, News and Cartoon. This will be accompanied by direct supervision of their respective programming, marketing, advertising sales and other business functions.

Mark Lazarus who till now was the president of Turner Entertainment sales and marketing and president of Turner Sports, will head the integrated Entertainment unit. He will be the president of the Turner Entertainment Group, which includes TNT, Turner Classic Movies, Turner South; Turner Sports.

CNN News Group President Jim Walton will continue to oversee the company's wide-ranging CNN businesses. He will take on additional responsibility in the form of a new CNN global advertising sales group.Turner has not yet named the person who will be in charge of the newly integrated Cartoon unit

An official release informs that at the same time, certain critical corporate functions will continue to work across all of the networks. These include Turner Network Sales, the company's sales and distribution unit led by president Andy Heller.

Chairman and CEO TBS Philip I. Kent who is instrumental in the restructuring process said," "These changes will help us make quicker and better decisions with more accountability and a greater feeling of 'ownership' of results for each management team, By formalising some key working relationships among people and groups, we are creating a more logical, less layered structure that will empower our people and make us even more responsive to our customers and other constituents. As these changes are internally focused, the results will be absolutely transparent to the viewers of our networks."

Talking about Walton's role Kent said, "Jim Walton's long professional history with and vast knowledge of the CNN News Group is exceeded only by the quality of his leadership. Giving Jim oversight of the advertising sales for all CNN networks and services worldwide allows him to lead CNN as a complete journalistic enterprise."

Walton, who was named president of the CNN News Group earlier this year, oversees all editorial and financial operations of the company's 33 news networks and services.

As president of Turner Entertainment Group Sales and Marketing, Lazarus was responsible for all advertising sales of TBS Superstation, WTBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner South. As president of Turner Sports he led Turner Broadcasting's acquisition of the cable rights to the NBA, NASCAR, Wimbledon and the British Open, as well as the Internet rights to NASCAR.com and PGA.com.

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