In hammering against the AT&T-Time Warner deal last week, some individual groups appeared to be treating the CEO of Time Warner as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” OK, we know, Lord Voldemort is a TW employee, sort of, but that is strictly in his capacity as the archest of arch villains in the Harry Potter tales.
For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in his letter to the Department of Justice slamming the deal, proposal referred only to “the CEO of Time Warner” decrying all those millions in stock options that could be coming his way.
Having dutifully added the name of Time Warner CEO “Jeff Bewkes” to those nameless reports on the pushback, The Wire was momentarily panicked when the Senate Judiciary Committee sent out this notice last week about the oversight hearing on the deal: “Both Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, and Robert Marcus, the CEO of Time Warner, will testify.”
Could we have been wrong, or perhaps this was a case of “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Correctly.”
As readers of these pages know, Marcus is the now-former CEO of Time Warner Cable who also exited with millions in the bank after the Charter Communications merger.
Within 15 minutes, which is nanoseconds in D.C. time, the committee had sent as a follow-up an amended announcement with Bewkes where Marcus had been, plus an apology for any confusion.