Time Warner plans to boost HBO’s programming budget, just as rivals including Netflix are doing, CEO Jeff Bewkes told an investor gathering today.
AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner is one of the biggest media mergers in years. Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, and Jeff Bewkes, chairman-CEO of Time Warner, make the case for why the combination is good for consumers and should be cleared by regulators.
Commenting on the proposed $85.4 billion takeover of his company by AT&T, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes discussed the ability of the combined company to create innovative over-the-top products like the upcoming DirecTV Now. But in the process, Bewkes — who originally spearheaded the pay-TV industry’s TV Everywhere initiative back in 2009 — offered a tacit admission that the complexity of programming deals had fatally undermined traditional pay-TV’s plan to distribute content to mobile devices.
Jeff Bewkes doesn’t hide his amusement when asked whether Time Warner is a takeover target. The chairman-CEO ticks off the reasons why the company is well-positioned to keep thriving in its current configuration. “We have the brands, we have the money, we have the distribution platform support, and we have the program supply. We have better access to movies and TV shows than any other company probably other than Disney.”
Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner Inc.’s chairman and chief executive, collected a compensation package valued at $31.5 million in 2015, representing a 4% decline from the previous year. Bewkes, 63, received $2 million in salary, $7.9 million in stock options, stock options valued at $8 million and a $13.4-million cash bonus in 2015, according to a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Time Warner and its chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes, have agreed to extend the term of his employment agreement another three years through 2020, the media corporation announced Thursday.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes isn’t giving up on the traditional cable television bundle just yet. “We haven’t seen any tipping point” in cord-cutting by consumers, Bewkes said Tuesday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. “There’s been a longstanding adoption, habit and loyalty to this set of channels, and they’re getting better.”
TV, both traditional linear television and streaming services like Netflix and HBO Now, are moving to an on-demand world, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told analysts. “All TV will be going on-demand,” he said. The job of the TV executive, therefore, is to try to find a way forward in this new media environment, one that is poised to become splintered between traditional cable and satellite packages, niche streaming services, and streaming bundles like Sling TV.
Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes addressed the idea of eventual consolidation involving rival media companies CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., while steering clear of any specifics. When asked about the future of Viacom and CBS and whether they could combine with Time Warner, Bewkes said “they may want to be a merger partner for somebody or maybe even for themselves.”
Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes said pay TV distributors need to step up their game when it comes to video on demand. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday, Bewkes praised the potential VOD has for the entertainment industry, but at the same time, he chastised distributors for not doing more to not only promote VOD but also for having complicated interfaces that frustrate customers.
The comments today from the Time Warner CEO at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference contrast with what was heard yesterday from cable operators. They say that consumers can’t afford to keep paying the rising prices for the basic bundle. Bewkes counters that if consumers had the freedom to just subscribe to the channels that they want “you’d end up having to pay more for less.” And for pay TV distributors “it is a growing pot. They have to decide who gets the money and who drives the value.”
On Tuesday, the media company’s board announced that it had extended Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes’ employment agreement an additional five years, which would keep the 60-year-old executive at the helm through 2017.
Speaking at separate times at a Goldman Sachs media conference this week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and CBS CEO Les Moonves asserted that they deserved bigger shares of the $30 billion that cable and satellite operators pay out to programmers each year. Bewkes would like to see the money concentrated among the top 40 networks; Moonves, among the top four. “If you are really paying for eyeballs and ESPN is getting $5 and we are watched by four times as many people,” Moonves asked, “what do you think?… We are entitled to ask for more and we are starting to get more.”
Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes took a pay cut in 2011 — albeit a mere 1%. The head of the media conglomerate saw his compensation shrink from $26.3 million in 2010 to $25.9 million last year because the company “did not surpass [its] financial targets by as great an amount as it did in 2010,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes says the company is going with a bottom-up approach to building revenues for TV Everywhere. Time Warner could wait to hammer out deals with operators to collect extra dollars for multiplatform distribution for TNT and CNN, but Bewkes indicates that the company has allowed operators to go ahead. It’s hoping consumers will appreciate it so much that handsome rights fees will follow.
Jeff Bewkes’ Time Warner isn’t giving up on its $1.4 billion bid for Amsterdam-based reality TV giant Endemol, and has submitted a sweetened, all-cash offer for the company. The new offer, which is the same amount as the original bid, comes ahead of deadline tomorrow set by the creditors for getting the restructuring completed, sources say.
Time Warner’s perspective has been that the current fourth quarter hit a few potholes when it came to TV advertising for its networks. But the first quarter looks to be a smoother road.
Even as Jeff Bewkes oversaw the separation of Time Warner and Time Warner Cable, he said that Comcast combining its cable business with NBC Universal is a similar maneuver. The cabler considered the media business — networks and production — “a very attractive business.”
With digital technology rapidly disrupting the home entertainment business, Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes is preparing aggressive moves in video-on-demand and against Netflix.
“We have every distribution network and content company trying to create a uniform approach for this,” Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Let’s try to keep it simple. This is the best room in the world to develop the innovation to make this happen.”
HBO could one day be offered as a standalone service, not tied to any specific level of pay TV subscription, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said yesterday.