WarnerMedia announced a new senior executive lineup as owner AT&T moves to reshape the assets it bought when it acquired Time Warner to better compete in a streaming, direct-to-consumer world.
The company confirmed that it has hired former NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, who will serve as chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer.
It also said that CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker will become chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara will add responsibilities for a new global kids and young adults business and that Gerhard Zeiler, who had been president of Turner International, will be chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia.
The new appointments follow the Justice Department last week losing an appeal of its attempt to prevent AT&T from buying Time Warner for $85 billion.
They also come after the departure of two of Time Warner’s highest profile executives, Richard Plepler, the CEO of HBO, and Turner president David Levy.
The reorganization was led by John Stankey, the AT&T exec named CEO of WarnerMedia last year. It is likely to also include a round of layoffs.
“We have done an amazing job establishing our brands as leaders in the hearts and minds of consumers,” said Stankey in a statement. “Adding Bob Greenblatt to the WarnerMedia family and expanding the leadership scope and responsibilities of Jeff, Kevin and Gerhard – who collectively have more than 80 years of global media experience and success – gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.”
Greenblatt helped NBC rebound after Comcast bought NBCUniversal in 2010. A former producer and Showtime head, Greenblatt launched shows including This Is Us, The Voice and Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med at NBC. He stepped down last September.“I’m honored to be joining WarnerMedia during such an exciting time for the company and the industry as a whole, and I look forward to working alongside the many talented executives and team members across the company,” Greenblatt said in a statement.
“WarnerMedia is home to some of the world’s most innovative, creative and successful brands and we’re in a unique position to foster even deeper connections with consumers,” Greenblatt said. “And it goes without saying I will always have a soft spot in my heart for HBO going back to the rewarding experience I had producing Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under.”
Here are some details about WarnerMedia’s new structure:
--WarnerMedia Entertainment led by Greenblatt will include HBO, Turner’s linear cable networks TNT, TBS and truTV, and the Direct-to-Consumer business. HBO and Turner had been separate. The change will provide the company with the agility and flexibility needed to build WarnerMedia’s brands across a variety of evolving distribution models with a more coordinated approach to the company’s original programming, WarnerMedia said.
--WarnerMedia News & Sports will include CNN Worldwide (CNN, CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Great Big Story), Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks. Zucker will continue to lead CNN and now run this expanded organization to capitalize on the importance of live news and sports content, as well as helping to build on the strengths of the company’s two industry-leading digital properties –CNN.com and Bleacher Report – to benefit consumers and advertisers in their respective market segments, the company said.
--Warner Bros.’ film, television, and games operations will add a new Global Kids & Young Adults business that brings together the family, kids and animation efforts from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Additionally, Otter Media, Turner Classic Movies and all activities around licensed consumer products development for WarnerMedia properties will also reside here.
The company will consolidate all WarnerMedia affiliate and advertising sales groups under one unified structure led by Zeiler.