WarnerMedia Insiders Brace for Turner Changes as AT&T Takeover Clears Last Legal Hurdle

Variety | 2/26/2019 | Cynthia Littleton
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AT&T is considering major structural changes to the Turner division of WarnerMedia now that the last legal threat to the telco giant’s acquisition of Time Warner has been removed.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court rejected the Justice Department’s appeal of the decision last June that allowed AT&T to proceed with its $85.4 billion purchase of the parent company of HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner. Last year, AT&T committed to managing Turner as a separate entity underneath the WarnerMedia umbrella on the chance that it would be forced to sell off the division that is home to TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TCM and TruTV.

Turner - Staffers - Atlanta - New - York

Now, Turner staffers in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles are preparing for changes to come. It’s understood that AT&T chief Randall Stephenson and WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey have questioned why Turner’s operations were kept so distinct from HBO and Warner Bros. in the Time Warner era. (Time Warner acquired the former Turner Broadcasting System from its namesake founder Ted Turner in 1996).

It’s believed that AT&T is looking for ways to cut down on the level of duplication, particularly in administrative functions. Turner’s cable networks could be streamlined in some fashion with HBO’s operations, while other content- and consumer products assets could be put under the Warner Bros. umbrella. AT&T is on the hook to find $2.5 billion in synergy savings over the first three years after the acquisition. Eliminating much of the Turner infrastructure would help that cause.

Former - NBC - Entertainment - Chairman - Bob

Former NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has emerged as a wildcard in a possible shakeup of the status quo at WarnerMedia. As first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Stankey has reached out to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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