It is a difficult day at WarnerMedia, which is undergoing a round of major layoffs, part of a companywide restructuring spearheaded by new CEO Jason Kilar. As part of realignment, leaving the company are (l-r) Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution; Ron Sanders, president, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and EVP, International Business Operations; and Kim Williams, EVP and chief financial officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
New WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is putting his stamp on the company with a big reorganization. Leaving WarnerMedia are Bob Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, and Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, as well as Keith Cocozza, SVP communications. The move comes four months after Kilar took over the top WarnerMedia post and two months after the launch of HBO Max.
TVNewsCheck will present a virtualized 10th Annual Women in Technology Awards presentation ceremony and immediately after it, a “Predictions for 2021” panel session featuring all six honorees talking about how widespread remote production and other developments this year are likely to affect technology in 2021. Honorees are (top, l-r): SMPTE’s Barbara Lange, WarnerMedia’s Lisa Pedrogo, Perspective Media’s Janet Gardner, (bottom, l-r): Avid’s Kate Ketcham, Latakoo’s Jade Kurian and Walt Disney Co.’s Sally Hattori. To attend the event on Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. ET, please register here.
WarnerMedia leadership told staffers Monday that the CNN Center in Atlanta will be sold, downplaying questions about whether the move signals impending layoffs.
The first phases of dynamic, addressable advertising trials include participation from Fox, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, Scripps, AMC Networks, Disney Media Networks, Discovery, Hearst Television and WarnerMedia.
AT&T is moving its ad-tech business Xandr into WarnerMedia, a little more than a month after its CEO Brian Lesser abruptly resigned. WarnerMedia CFO Gerhard Zeiler will now be in charge of all advertising across AT&T. Xandr’s Chief Business Officer Kirk McDonald will continue to lead Xandr, reporting directly to Zeiler.
AT&T’s first quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations and the company pulled its annual forecast on Wednesday, as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak overshadowed strong growth in monthly phone subscribers. It also lost 897,000 so-called premium TV subscribers, which includes its satellite TV provider DirecTV and a small number of U-Verse users as more consumers cut cords amid the pandemic.
The streaming service is set to debut amid the shutdown brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak, bringing with it 10,000 hours of library programming from across the WarnerMedia catalog.
Jason Kilar takes the reins of one of Hollywood’s largest film and television factories, putting in him charge of the Warner Bros. movie and TV studio, HBO, CNN and other cable networks. The appointment comes just as WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T, is preparing the launch of its own streaming service, HBO Max.
WarnerMedia has pledged to give $100 million in relief to workers affected by production shutdowns forced by the coronavirus pandemic, CEO John Stankey said in an internal memo on Friday.
John Stankey, head of WarnerMedia and AT&T’s president and chief operating officer, saw his 2019 compensation rise 36%, to a total of $22.47 million, according to a regulatory filing.
The top executives overseeing CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ annual telecast of the NCAA’s March Madness men’s basketball college championship said today that they were continuing to prepare for the event as if it would not be affected by the spread of coronavirus, though both were ready to shift plans if the NCAA decided doing so would be necessary, potentially resulting in games that are broadcast without audiences in attendance.
Lisa Pedrogo played a key role in bringing CNN’s groundbreaking new IP-based facility in New York’s Hudson Yards to fruition. Her tenacity and generous leadership style have made her one of TVNewsCheck’s 2020 Women in Technology Leadership Award winners.
Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for 10 seasons on NBC, were anecdotally among the most-binged shows on Netflix before the series left the streaming service at the end of 2019. Soon, it will be one of the centerpieces of WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, when that streamer launches in May.
YouTube TV will carry HBO Max as part of an expanded distribution deal with WarnerMedia. This is the first deal that WarnerMedia has announced for the third-party distribution of HBO Max but more are expected in the lead up to the service’s May launch.
The recipients of TVNewsCheck’s annual Women in Technology Leadership Award — SMPTE’s Barbara Lange and WarnerMedia’s Lisa Pedrogo — are women who have contributed substantially toward advancing their industry technologically. The award supports the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s Technology Apprenticeship Program, which places graduating engineers, who are women or people of color, in broadcast industry internships. They will be honored in a virtual awards presentation and panel discussion on Oct. 19.
WarnerMedia has dramatically shifted its balance for commissioning content away from its cable networks and toward its streaming services like HBO Max. According to Ampere Analysis, just over one quarter of WarnerMedia’s commissioning activity was from its cable networks, down from more than 90% in the fourth quarter of 2018. At the same time, the company’s streaming has grown from 7% of commissions in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 73% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Even at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, home to HBO and Game of Thrones, cable is no longer king. As WarnerMedia prepares to launch its streaming service HBO Max in May, the company has shifted resources from its cable networks to invest in online originals. A new study published today by Ampere Analytics found that while new streaming shows accounted for just 7% of WarnerMedia’s original commissions in the fourth quarter of 2018, by 4Q 2019, streaming commissions represented 73% of WarnerMedia’s new TV projects.
Warner Bros. is finalizing agreements with the cast of Friends for a reunion special that will likely be used to launch the HBO Max streaming service this spring, people familiar with the matter said. Under terms being discussed, each of the show’s six stars would receive between $2.25 million and $2.5 million.
The march to the launch of HBO Max in May is driving changes across WarnerMedia. John Stankey, AT&T chief operating officer and WarnerMedia chairman, told investors on Wednesday that cable powerhouses TNT and TBS will lean into more unscripted programming as WarnerMedia steers its investment in high-end scripted programming to the nascent subscription streaming platform.
Building on the HBO Max feature Let Them All Talk, Steven Soderbergh will create and develop new projects for the streamer and HBO itself. Warner Bros. will also have a first-look option on all of his films.
A+E Networks, AMC Networks, CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and other media publishers double down on addressable TV initiatives ahead of the 2020 upfronts.
Apple, Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia want to jump-start their challenges to Netflix by offering freebies and deep discounts on emerging streaming plans.
WarnerMedia announced several operational executive appointments for HBO Max, its premium service teed up to enter the streaming wars next year, under the leadership of Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves.
Zucker, the president of CNN, is now the leading — if not the only — internal candidate being considered to become chief executive of WarnerMedia, the new conglomeration owned by AT&T that includes Warner Bros., HBO and Turner Broadcasting, according to five high-level WarnerMedia sources. He is currently the head of news and sports for WarnerMedia.
Television and streaming channels owned by WarnerMedia, CBS and Viacom will no longer run ads for e-cigarettes or e-cigarette products, including for industry powerhouse Juul, the companies said Wednesday.
One of WarnerMedia brass’ top goals for the company’s upcoming streaming service HBO Max was to have the biggest comedy series of the past couple of decades, Friends and The Big Bang Theory — both produced by sibling Warner Bros. TV — at launch to help drive subscribers to the new offering. After shelling out $425 million for the exclusive streaming rights to Friends, taking it away from Netflix, HBO Max has now secured the exclusive streaming rights to all 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory.
WarnerMedia has tapped company veterans Sofia Chang and Rich Warren to oversee distribution for HBO, the nascent HBO Max streaming service and the Turner channels. The appointments of Chang and Warren as president of WarnerMedia Distribution come as part of the continuing shakeup of HBO and Turner operations following AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner last year.
Overseeing various units, he will report to AT&T chair and CEO Randall Stephenson, who says: “Now is the time to more tightly align our collection of world-class content, scaled consumer relationships, technical know-how and innovative advertising technology.”
Sarah Aubrey will lead the programming team as head of original content for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service, which will layer original programming into all of HBO’s programming. Eric Besner will be SVP of business development and strategy.
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.