AT&T’s operating plan for its newly acquired Time Warner unit came into clearer focus Friday, as the telecommunications company renamed the division WarnerMedia and revealed that John Martin, who has led the big Turner cable-TV unit since January of 2014, would depart.
In a memo to employees, John Stankey, the AT&T executive charged with running the Time Warner properties, said the company intended for the daily operations of HBO, Turner and Warner Brothers to “see little change.” And yet, he continued, “because we are now a subsidiary of AT&T Inc., many of the redundant corporate support functions between our companies at the HQ/holding company level will be eliminated in the coming months. That said, we will continue to maintain a small operating staff in support of the media company.”
, the CEO of Turner, will be among the senior Time Warner executives leaving the company Stankey said. In his place, Turner’s senior executive team – Turner President David Levy; Turner International President Gerhard Zeiler; and CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker will report directly to Stankey. Richard Plepler and Kevin Tsujihara will continue as heads of HBO and Warner Brothers, respectively.
Jeff Bewkes, the former Time Warner CEO, is expected to leave after a transition period., Other senior executives departing are: Howard Averill, Chief Financial Officer; Gary Ginsberg, EVP Corporate Marketing and Communications; Karen Magee, Chief Human Resources Officer; Carol Melton, EVP Global Public Policy; and Olaf Olafsson, EVP International and Corporate Strategy.
The company’s new name, Stankey said, stems largely from a desire to avoid confusion with other entities that were once part of the entertainment unit, such as Time Warner Cable. “Our consumer research suggests this confusion isn’t going away any time soon. So, it is easier and more economical to change the name, than invest in advertising to resolve the confusion,:” he said.