Warner Bros. Chairman And CEO Kevin Tsujihara Resigns

Warner Bros. Chairman And CEO Kevin Tsujihara Resigns

Warner Bros. Chairman And CEO Kevin Tsujihara Resigns

Today (18th March), Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) – Kevin Tsujihara announced that he’s stepping down and leaving the movie studio. Kevin has worked for Warner Bros for 25 years, and since 2013, he was in charge of the studio. He had a promising future at Warner Bros. because of a newly expanded job role, with popular brands such as Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM and Crunchyroll added to his supervisory responsibilities after the announcement of the reformation of WarnerMedia only two weeks ago. Kevin Tsujihara was also the first person of East Asian descent to run a Hollywood studio.

In a Hollywood Reporter article from 6th March, it was emerged that text messages were exchanged between Kevin and actress Charlotte Kirk, according to the texts, Kevin attempted to get movie auditions for Charlotte in exchange for a sexual relationship. Charlotte Kirk has appeared in two Warner Bros. films: 2016’s How to Be Single and 2018’s Ocean’s 8. Kevin’s personal attorney claimed that Kevin had no direct involvement in hiring Charlotte Kirk. The allegations are overshadowing of what could be an exciting time at Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia as a whole.

Before resigning, Kevin left an internal memo for his colleagues at Warner Bros., the memo reads as follows:

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week and a half, I have been reflecting on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future. After lengthy introspection, and discussions with John Stankey over the past week, we have decided that it is in Warner Bros.’ best interest that I step down as Chairman and CEO.

I love this company and the people that make it so great. I’ve been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees over the past 25 years. Together we’ve built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry.

However, it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.

I am overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and industry partners during this difficult time.

Again, I am so proud of the great work that you do every day to make Warner Bros. the gold standard in our industry. It has been a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you, and I wish you all the absolute best.

Kevin’s boss, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey also made a statement regarding his departure:

“It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him. Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward.”

John Stankey and WarnerMedia’s board of directors has yet to announce who will replace Kevin Tsujihara as Warner Bros. new CEO. This is an unusual time at the company, after seeing the announced departure of the chairmen of Turner (David Levy), HBO (Richard Plepler) and Warner Bros. (Kevin Tsujihara) within the space of a fortnight. An interim Warner Bros. leadership team will be announced tomorrow (19th March).

What does Kevin Tsujihara’s resignation mean for Cartoon Network?

The resignation of Kevin Tsujihara shouldn’t directly affect Cartoon Network’s operations, as Turner remains to be a going concern as restructuring can be a lengthy and difficult process and WarnerMedia’s future plans were only announced two weeks ago. Christina Miller remains to be President and General Manager of Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim.

https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/kevin-tsujihara-warner-bros-sexual-impropriety-1203165653/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/warner-bros-kevin-tsujihara-exit-as-studio-chief-1054951

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/i-need-be-careful-texts-reveal-warner-bros-ceo-promoted-actress-apparent-sexual-relationship-1192660

AT&T To Combine WarnerMedia’s Turner And HBO Divisions, Turner President David Levy And HBO President Richard Plepler To Leave The Company

AT&T To Combine WarnerMedia's Turner And HBO Divisions, Turner President David Levy And HBO President Richard Plepler To Leave The Company

AT&T To Combine WarnerMedia’s Turner And HBO Divisions, Turner President David Levy And HBO President Richard Plepler To Leave The Company

Over the past couple of days (28th February and 1st March), AT&T, the ultimate parent company of Turner (the owner of Cartoon Network) via AT&T’s WarnerMedia is planning some structural changes to the way WarnerMedia is run, particularly its television division.

The plan is to merge its two television channel divisions – Turner which focuses on basic package cable channels and its premium entertainment and movies channel brand – HBO (Home Box Office). Also WarnerMedia is planning a direct-to-consumer streaming service which will feature HBO content in its core package, plus content from Turner’s general entertainment and kids brands.

On Thursday (28th February), it emerged that the President of Turner – David Levy will be leaving the company after 33 years, his career at Turner dates all the way back before the Turner/Time Warner merger and years before Cartoon Network started broadcasting.

In a internal company memo, David Levy said:

“I have decided the time is right to leave my role. I am ready for a professional change. Turner has been a significant part of my life and I will watch from the sidelines as this company continues to produce more amazing moments. The next few months will be filled with many new ‘firsts’ and experiences. I am confident that you all will show that true maverick spirit this company was founded on to march forward and continue the standard of excellence we have built and enjoyed.”

The news of David Levy’s resignation follows news that AT&T has finally jumped over the last legal hurdle in its acquisition of Time Warner (Now WarnerMedia), which was a lengthy appeals court battle. Telecommunications conglomerate AT&T acquired Time Warner in June last year and the merger itself was announced in October 2016. On Thursday, the CEO of HBO – Richard Plepler also announced that he’s also leaving the company.

Both Mr Levy and Mr Plepler reported to WarnerMedia’s new CEO – John Stankey, who replaced Jeff Bewkes. Also Turner’s CEO John Martin stepped down immediately after the AT&T merger in June, leaving the post vacant.

There’s no official word on who will manage the combined Turner/HBO unit, some sources including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety suggest that AT&T is currently in talks with former NBC Entertainment chairman – Bob Greenblatt.

In addition to the HBO/Turner changes, WarnerMedia is planning to sell its 10% stake in Hulu, a popular online streaming service for TV shows in the United States to Disney. Disney is also in a similar situation to AT&T as its merging with 21st Century Fox, after the Fox/Disney merger and after buying WarnerMedia’s 10% stake, Disney will own 70% of the Hulu streaming service, with 30% still owned by Comcast (NBC).

Last October, AT&T said there won’t be any big changes at Turner, there was no mention about combining Turner with HBO, but hopefully this will be the only significant change, merging business units together usually leads to cost cutting measures such as administration which also leads to job losses. At present, there’s no news on how these significant changes will affect Cartoon Network and rest of Turner’s children’s and young adults division. In many parts of the world, HBO and Turner already work together, they already share offices in London, Turner’s kids streaming service in Scandinavia – Toonix is available via HBO Nordic’s streaming service, Cartoon Network shows are available via the HBO GO streaming service available in parts of Europe and Turner already operates HBO South Asia on behalf of the company.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/hbo-tnt-tbs-warnermedia-bob-greenblatt-richard-plepler-john-stankey-1203152672/

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/01/media/turner-president-david-levy-leaving-as-att-prepares-to-install-new-leadership/index.html

http://www.cablefax.com/distribution/disney-in-talks-to-acquire-atts-hulu-stake

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/warnermedia-eyes-bob-greenblatt-major-new-role-1189138

Time Warner Rebrands As WarnerMedia Following AT&T Merger

Warner Media Logo

Time Warner Rebrands As WarnerMedia Following AT&T Merger

Yesterday (15th June) and within hours of AT&T formally merging with Time Warner, AT&T’s newly acquired ex-Time Warner media business unit as renamed itself as “WarnerMedia”, ending the use of the “Time Warner” corporate brand which was originally introduced in 1990 and has been used in various forms since. The new logo has a simple design with a sans-serif font with black and white background variants. The use of the Time Warner brand in recent years has been rather confusing, this is why a new name was needed, especially when Time Warner Cable was spun-off in 2009 (now part of Charter Communications as of 2016) leaving two separate companies with the same name. Also Time Warner spun-off its publishing division – Time Inc. in 2013, so the company had no reason to use The “Time” name either. It’s likely that the company didn’t want to rebrand as the company was up for sale and a buyer would likely change the name anyway.

Following the $85 billion merger, the CEO of AT&T – Randall Stephenson has promised to make sure that WarnerMedia and its sub-divisions (Warner Bros, HBO and Turner) will continue to have the same level of creative freedom as if it was still an independent company, the reason being is that AT&T’s core business is communications and not media, they would rather allow existing management who know the media industry to continue to work for WarnerMedia. AT&T has also promised to invest $21 billion into the WarnerMedia business to help it compete against fast-growing new-media rivals – Netflix and Amazon.

In a statement about WarnerMedia’s continued creative independence, Randall Stephenson said: “We’re big fans of your talent and creativity. And you have my word that you will continue to have the creative freedom and resources to keep doing what you do best.”

The division of WarnerMedia that owns Cartoon Network, Boomerang and other associated brands – Turner has already seen a major management change, the CEO of Turner – John Martin is stepping down, it’s not known on how much of an impact that AT&T’s acquisition will have on Turner, but they said, very little will change, although people are concerned over job redundancies because of cost efficiency reasons and there will be some redundancies at the corporate functions level. Turner President – David Levy, Turner International President – Gerhard Zeiler and CNN Worldwide President – Jeff Zucker will be running the company at least in the interim following John Martin’s departure. All three will report to WarnerMedia’s new CEO – John Stankey, who himself also replaces ex-Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

The Time Warner website has been updated to include the new WarnerMedia logo, as of yet, nothing much has changed.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/t-ceo-says-ready-invest-keep-culture-time-162401452–finance.html

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/att-time-warner-warnermedia-turner-chief-john-martin-1202848405/

http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/15/media/warnermedia-john-stankey-announcements/index.html

https://nypost.com/2018/06/15/time-warner-will-be-renamed-warner-media-turner-ceo-exits/