In a shakeup of what was once Turner’s ad sales division, former Turner International head Gerhard Zeiler has been named interim president of the ad sales operation at AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit.
The global news giant has built the first major broadcast facility to be completely based on the SMPTE 2110 IP networking standard. “The idea behind going IP was to get everything across CNN’s facilities connected,” says Bob Hesskamp, EVP of broadcast engineering for Turner. “The other reason we did this was we wanted to build a facility that wasn’t out of date on Day One, that was software-configurable, expandable and easier to make changes to.”
It’s official: Friends is moving from Netflix to WarnerMedia’s streaming service, now officially called HBO Max. HBO Max will also be the new streaming home for all fare from The CW (which was previously housed at Netflix) as well as original feature films from prolific producer Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon.
WarnerMedia — mostly the Turner cable networks in terms of ad sales — saw the same single-digit growth in dollar volume as other programmers have seen, according to a source familiar with the situation. It also was able to secure price increases in the double-digit range on a cost-per-thousand viewer (CPM) basis.
Bad Robot, the famed production company he runs with wife and co-CEO Katie McGrath, had been fielding offers from pretty much every major media company at one point or another.
WarnerMedia has joined the chorus of industry voices speaking out against Georgia’s new abortion law, which was signed by the governor on May 7. WarnerMedia is currently filming The Conjuring 3 in the state and will soon shoot the Suicide Squad sequel there. On the television side, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ show Lovecraft County and The Outsider, executive produced by Jason Bateman, are both in production in Georgia for HBO.
TruTV is laying off a portion of its marketing and programming staffers, who will receive severance packages as part of exit deals similar to those at other units of WarnerMedia.
Kevin Reilly has signed a new four-year deal with WarnerMedia that will keep him at the company through 2022 and expand his oversight of its basic cable networks. Reilly will now oversee the TruTV cabler in addition to running TNT and TBS, and serving as chief content officer of direct-to-consumer for WarnerMedia.