Turner Broadcasting System Inc. last week promoted Turner Network Television president
Brad Siegel to the newly created position of president of general-entertainment
He will add TBS Superstation and Turner South to his
duties, now that Bill Burke is going to parent company Time Warner Inc.'s digital
Siegel will succeed Burke as the head of TBS and Turner
South, the regional-entertainment network set to launch Oct. 1. Last week, Burke was named
president of news and information at Time Warner Digital Media, a newly created unit.
Burke, who starts his new job Oct. 4, has the mandate of
using the online resources of Cable News Network and Time Inc. to create a Time Warner
Internet news "hub," or aggregate of online content. Burke will report to
Richard Bressler, the Time Warner Digital chairman and CEO and the former chief financial
officer for Time Warner.
Looking for a strong Web strategy for his company, Time
Warner chairman Gerald Levin put trusted and well-regarded lieutenant Bressler in charge
of the venture this summer.
"The challenge is making sure we fulfill the potential
we have with our assets," Burke said. "We want to be sure we realize all those
As a result of TBS president Burke taking the digital job,
the newly promoted Siegel will have TNT, Turner Classic Movies, TBS and Turner South under
his wing. He will continue to report to Steven Heyer, TBS Inc.'s president and chief
operating officer, as does Betty Cohen, president of Cartoon Network Worldwide.
Siegel joined TNT in January 1993 as executive vice
president. Under his helm, TNT has greatly expanded its original programming, with a slate
of hourlong dramatic series now in development. Siegel has also overseen TCM since its
launch in April 1994.
"TBS Superstation and Turner South are well positioned
for Brad to craft the strong identities that he has for TNT and Turner Classic
Movies," Heyer said in a prepared statement.
TNT and TBS are both very profitable, and are basically
fully distributed. Keeping their growth rates high will involve making them "more
attractive to advertisers and getting new sets of viewers," according to Siegel.
"My job is to take these two businesses, which are
very strong, and make sure they continue to grow at very healthy rates," Siegel said.
He also plans to sit with Burke and talk about where TBS
and Turner South stand.
"I have my own ideas, but I don't think I'm
going to be as hands-on as I have with TNT," Siegel said. "I'm analyzing
the entire situation now to decide how to structure it and what the personnel issues will
For example, although Siegel oversees TCM, the network also
has its own general manager, Tom Karsch. In contrast, Siegel has been president of TNT and
ran it closely. TNT does not have a general manager. Siegel said he might need to hire
general managers for TBS, TNT and Turner South, while he oversees all three.