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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bewkes’

Time Warner Sells Manhattan Headquarters; CNN, Other Nets, Will Be On the Move

Time_Warner_Center_May_2010It’s now a done deal. Time Warner has sold its iconic Manhattan building at Columbus Circle and is already preparing a move 30 blocks south to the as yet undeveloped Hudson Yards neighborhood. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes sent an email to staff this afternoon letting them know about the move, which is still years away.

“[W]e’re moving forward with a plan to relocate our New York City-based employees at Corporate, HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. to a new building beginning in late 2018,” Bewkes writes. “[O]ur company currently occupies seven buildings in Manhattan, including our space in Time Warner Center. We expect that moving into a single location will save us three-quarters of a billion dollars in ongoing real estate costs over the next 20 years, which we can reallocate to doing more of what we do best – creating and sharing high-quality entertainment and journalism through great storytelling.”

The Time Warner Center news comes a day after Comcast, the owner of NBC, announced it was building a new state-of-the art facility in what will be Philadelphia’s tallest building. TVSpy has more on the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center.

Bewkes’ note after the jump…

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Phil Kent To Step Down as CEO Of Turner Broadcasting, John Martin To Assume Top Role

Phil Kent, John Martin

Breaking: The chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting, Phil Kent, will step down from the CEO role when his contract ends next year, he announced in a memo to staff today.

Time Warner CFO John Martin will take over as CEO of the unit on January 1, 2014, with Kent staying on as chairman for a transition period. Time Warner owns Turner Broadcasting, a unit that includes the CNN networks, TBS, TNT, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

“A dozen years is a long run in a top leadership position, particularly in such a dynamic and fast-changing industry as ours,” Kent wrote in a memo to staff today, obtained by TVNewser. “I’m very proud of Turner’s business results over the past decade. But I’m equally proud of the culture that we have built together to foster creativity, collaboration and risk-taking in the pursuit of excellence.”

Martin, like Kent, will report to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

“John is one of the most capable and strategically-minded executives I know,” Bewkes said in a statement. “As CFO, he led the design and implementation of our financial strategy that has helped Time Warner deliver superior shareholder returns. But he is also a broad and thoughtful business thinker whose inclusive management style and focus on driving the business forward will fit well with the Turner tradition. I have great confidence he will build on the success Phil has achieved to take Turner to even greater heights.”

More below, including Kent’s letter to staff.

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Moguls, Journalists Descend On Sun Valley For Media/Technology Confab

This week, the world’s media, entertainment and technology moguls are converging on Sun Valley, Idaho for the annual Allen & Company shindig. What happens in Sun Valley usually stays in Sun Valley, but according to a number of reporters in attendance, we can glean a few things.

For starters, CBS News anchor Charlie Rose, NBC News’ Tom Brokaw and CNN’s Erin Burnett are all attending, with Rose and Brokaw scheduled to moderate (secret) panels. CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, FBN’s Dennis Kneale and Bloomberg TV’s Jon Erlichman are getting as close as they can to cover the action for their networks.

In terms of moguls, all the usual suspects are there: 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, along with sons Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch (above), Disney’s Bob Iger, ESPN’s John Skipper, Comcast’s Brian Roberts, CBS’ Les Moonves, Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and IAC’s Barry Diller among many, many others.

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Time Warner CEO Talks About CNN’s Gameplan Under Jeff Zucker

During a conference call with investors this morning, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was asked about CNN. It was the first quarterly earnings call since new CNN president Jeff Zucker began implementing his gameplan to turn the channel’s fortunes around.

On the call, Bewkes said of Zucker: “we think that [he] is off to a great start.”

Aside from a few public appearances however, Zucker has not really given any interviews with regard to what his plan for CNN is. Through Bewkes, however, we can glean some general ideas for where the channel sees the most growth potential.

“Whenever there is a global news item of interest, CNN is the first place to go,” Bewkes said. “Having said that, CNN can’t just mean politics and wars, we will cover those, but we won’t start a war just to have success at CNN.”

In terms of revenue, CNN was cited as one of the weak spots in Time Warner’s Q1. While the entertainment networks like TBS and Adult Swim were up, it “was more than offset by declines at its news networks, due to lower demand,” time Warner CFO John Martin said.

That said, “We are seeing improvement in the news category domestically and internationally in Q2,” Martin added.

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Jeff Bewkes Has No Comment On Zucker, But Says CNN Will Be ‘One Of The Fastest Growing Networks’

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes declined to talk about the rumors of Jeff Zucker taking over CNN during a discussion at the Business insider Ignition conference Wednesday afternoon, only saying “well, we are going to have an announcement soon.”

He did, however, use the rumor as a jumping off point to launch a staunch defense of CNN and its business, and a preview of what may be coming to the network when the new leadership finally takes over.

“I think a very good example of the current strength of CNN is how really superior the coverage was on election night,” Bewkes said. “Our interest and aspiration for CNN is that it does that kind of authoritative, objective, global perspective and deep analysis coverage on everything, we are aiming to do it every night and across all kinds of subjects.

Our aim for CNN is more about that mission, it is not, as so often reported, just about ratings, it is not even primarily about that,” Bewkes added. “Some nights we will win and some nights we won’t do that.”

While CNN’s financial performance is not broken out from the rest of Turner Broadcasting, Bewkes argued that it is one of the company’s most lucrative brands:

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Jeff Zucker In Advanced Talks To Take Over CNN Worldwide

Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker is in talks to become president of CNN Worldwide, someone close to Zucker tells TVNewser. Zucker would replace Jim Walton, who announced last summer that he’d be leaving the company at the end of the year.

The news of the advanced stage of the talks was first reported by the Los Angeles TimesJoe Flint, and the New York TimesBrian Stelter.

Zucker began his career as a prodigy at NBC News. He became executive producer of “Today” at age 27, and would go on to oversee “NBC Nightly News” before taking over the network’s entertainment division, and eventually the whole place. He left in 2011 after Comcast completed its acquisition of NBC.

He would go on to serve as EP of syndicated talker “Katie,” but is leaving the show at the end of this year. In October, Flint laid out a number of reasons why Zucker would not make sense for CNN. The Powers That Be were apparently not that concerned.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes–who is leading the search to find Walton’s successor — will be speaking at the Ignite media conference tomorrow afternoon. TVNewser will be there to report on what he says regarding the news.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Inks New Long-Term Deal

Time Warner has signed CEO Jeff Bewkes to a new, long-term contract with the company, keeping the executive in the CEO position until at least 2017. Bewkes is in the final phase of choosing who the next president of CNN Worldwide will be when Jim Walton leaves at the end of the year.

Whoever CNN’s next leader is, the deal ensures that Bewkes will be making the final calls for years to come. He has been CEO of the media conglomerate since 2008, and before that was CEO of HBO before moving up the corporate food chain. In addition to CNN and HBO, Time Warner owns TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Warner Bros. and Time Inc.

“Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, we are very pleased that Jeff has signed on to lead Time Warner for another five years,” said Stephen F. Bollenbach, Lead Independent Director of the Time Warner Board of Directors in a statement. “Jeff is a proven visionary when it comes to navigating the digital landscape. Since becoming CEO in 2008 he has led the transformation of the Company into a content-focused powerhouse while at the same time significantly increasing shareholder value.”

Former Dick Clark CEO Mark Shapiro In Running For Top CNN Gig

Former ESPN programming executive and Dick Clark Productions CEO Mark Shapiro has emerged as one of the contenders for the top job at CNN, a source in the agent community confirmed to TVNewser. The news was first reported by the well-sourced Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times.

Shapiro was a powerful programming executive at ESPN, and helped launch what became ESPN’s top original program ”Pardon The Interruption.” He also was the man responsible for putting conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on the “NFL Countdown” pregame show. He joined Dick Clark Productions as CEO in May, 2010, and left earlier this year when the company was sold to Guggenheim Partners. Dick Clark Productions specializes in producing live event programming, like “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” The Golden Globe Awards and the American music Awards.

As Flint notes, Shapiro does not have a background in “hard news,”

However, Shapiro has strong production chops from his days at ESPN, which has its own large news division. He is seen as an innovative executive unafraid to take chances. He also is known for having sharp elbows and for being confrontational at times with talent and other executives.

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Jeff Zucker To CNN: The Argument Against

Earlier we noted how former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker is preparing to leave the syndicated talker “Katie,” which he currently EPs.

We also noted that Zucker is on the (public) short list of names to replace Jim Walton at CNN Worldwide. In the LA Times, Joe Flint lays out why that probably won’t happen. There are  a lot of reasons why Zucker is unlikely to get the CNN job, but a significant one is that the job might simply be too small for the executive:

Currently, CNN is part of Turner Broadcasting, which is run by Phil Kent, a low-key executive who avoids the spotlight as much as Zucker embraces it. If Zucker is running CNN, he would in theory report to Kent. Would that fly with Zucker? In his old life he reported to the chief executive of General Electric. If he took CNN he might want a direct line to Time Warner Chief Jeff Bewkes. See, this is starting to get complicated.

Media Moguls Meal: Jeff Bewkes And Roger Ailes Grab Lunch

The Wall Street Journal has a gossipy item this afternoon, reporting that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes grabbed lunch earlier this year.

Bewkes is looking for a successor to Jim Walton at CNN, who will be stepping aside at the end of this year. Ailes meanwhile has a contract of his own coming up for renewal next year.

The WSJ notes that the lunch was purely social, and that Bewkes has no plans to hire Ailes. But that didn’t stop the News Corp. newspaper from writing the item.

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