Television

Time Warner to be renamed Warner Media, Turner CEO exits

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MUMBAI: AT&T announced on Friday, its first full day of owning Time Warner, that the operating businesses in the $85 billion acquisition will be contained in an entity called WarnerMedia. The names of the operating units — HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., TNT, etc. — will stay the same.

AT&T’s media business CEO John Stankey who is tasked  with running WarnerMedia after integrating it into AT&T, also announced the exit of Turner CEO John Martin.

Those who reported to Martin — Turner President David Levy, Turner International President Gerhard Zeiler and CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker — report now to Stankey.

“This initial Turner org structure will allow me to work more closely with more Turner leaders and accelerate my personal learning of the business,” Stankey wrote in a memo to his “new colleagues.”

The heads of WarnerMedia’s two other divisions — HBO CEO Richard Plepler and Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara will stay in their jobs.

Among Time Warner’s top executives, however, Stankey said only general counsel Paul Cappuccio will join the new regime.

That means former Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, whom Stankey profusely thanked for his support throughout the deal’s 21-month approval process, will retire after a brief transition.

WarnerMedia, to meet its goal of $1.5 billion in cost savings, is expected to announce further job cuts.

Stankey promised daily operations would see “little change,” but he didn’t mince words about further paring of the old Time Warner.

He further added, “Many of the redundant corporate support functions between our companies at the HQ/holding company level will be eliminated in the coming months,”

Getting back to the name change, Stankey cited lingering confusion between Time Warner the media company and, until its takeover by Charter Communications, Time Warner the cable company. “Our consumer research suggests this confusion isn’t going away,” he said.

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