AT&T renames Time Warner to WarnerMedia post-merger; Turner CEO John Martin to exit
As a result of the mega-merger, AT&T has renamed Time Warner WarnerMedia and released Turner CEO John Martin.
Martin had been with the cable network group, which has CNN, Turner Sports, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim in its roster of channels, since 2014. Although he has stepped down, the rest of the leadership team at Turner, as well as sibling companies Warner Bros and HBO, remain intact.
Time Warner Inc. chairman and chief executive Jeff Bewkes is also stepping down from his role, along with a slew of other executives including chief financial officer Howard Averill, executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications Gary Ginsberg, and chief human resources officer Karen Magee.
According to Variety, an internal memo from AT&T-appointed WarnerMedia chief John Starkey said: "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.”
In a letter to staff, Starkey said that he personally thanked each departing executive "for their many contributions in helping to develop and execute on a strategy that has positioned Time Warner at the forefront of the media & entertainment industry."
WarnerMedia was chosen as a name, Starkey added, to help consumers avoid confusion with former Warner property, internet service provider Time Warner Cable (which has been renamed Spectrum after it was acquired by Charter Communications in 2016).
He said: "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."