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

Riccardo Donato Appointed As Turner UK And Northern Europe VP Of Commercial Development

Riccardo Donato Appointed As Turner UK And Northern Europe VP Of Commercial Development

Riccardo Donato Appointed As Turner UK And Northern Europe VP Of Commercial Development

Turner Northern Europe (UK and Nordics) has appointed a new Vice President of Commercial Development – Riccardo Donato. In his new role, Riccardo will identify and develop new ways for the company to generate new revenue for its existing channel and digital brands including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito and Toonix, as well as developing new SVOD (subscription video on-demand) and OTT (over-the-top) services. He previously worked for A+E Networks UK (better known for television channels such as History and Crime and Investigation) and has worked at BBC Worldwide before then. Riccardo will be based at Turner’s European HQ in London.

Turner Northern Europe performed well in 2018, Cartoon Network was was the top children’s pay-TV channel in the region last year and also the launch of the new subscription-based Toonix streaming service in Scandinavia in 2018 (launched as part of HBO Nordic’s streaming service in 2017).

Regarding Riccardo’s appointment, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Northern Europe, Pierre Branco made this statement:

“It is a very exciting time for Riccardo to join Turner – we experienced a record-breaking 2018 and have positioned this role to further increase our growth for 2019. His unique skills and experience will focus on expanding both our linear and non-linear platforms and make a fantastic addition to our already successful team. I look forward to continuing to watch our company reach new heights and am delighted to have Riccardo as a part of it.”

http://kidscreen.com/2019/01/14/turner-names-regional-commercial-development-vp/

https://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2019/01/14/turner-appoints-riccardo-donato/

Turner EMEA Launches Toonix OTT Streaming Service In Scandinavia

Turner EMEA Launches Toonix OTT Streaming Service In Scandinavia

Turner EMEA Launches Toonix OTT Streaming Service In Scandinavia

Today (20th June), Turner EMEA has announced its first direct-to-consumer service for kids – Toonix. The OTT (Over The Top, meaning a service provided over a standard internet connection) streaming service – Toonix will have its very own app in the Nordic (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) region later this summer and will include all national languages as well as English. The new service will be ad-free and will feature a comprehensive animation library including animated shows and movies from Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation and also third-party and local productions. The app has been designed for kids in mind, offers an easy to use interface and also games.

In the Nordics region, the Toonix brand launched in 2017 as a branded kids section as part of HBO Nordic’s service, Toonix is available to HBO Nordic’s subscribers at no extra cost. Alongside with the partnership of Turner’s and Warner Bros. sister company – HBO, Toonix will now be available as a direct to consumer service. The service will feature popular cartoons including Adventure Time, Teen Titans Go!, Peppa Pig, The Amazing World of Gumball, Scooby-Doo, Barbapapa, Masha and the Bear, Bamse and the City of Thieves and Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite.

The Toonix brand originated from Cartoon Network’s avatar character maker as seen on several Cartoon Network websites all over the world, where kids can create a cute version of themselves or recreate a popular cartoon character. Many of these Toonix characters can been seen on the streaming service. Cartoon Network Latin America also had a branding era called “Toonix” which features many of Cartoon Network’s characters in Toonix form, this was also Cartoon Network Latin America’s version of Cartoon Network USA’s Noods era.

The app for the new service will be available for iOS and Android devices and also on smart TVs:

https://www.turner.com/pressroom/turner-emea-announces-its-first-kids-ott-service-nordic-launch-toonix

Toonix Scandinavia Links:

Sweden: http://www.toonix.se
Denmark: http://www.toonix.dk
Norway: http://www.toonix.no
Finland: http://www.toonix.fi

From The Turner EMEA Press Release: Turner EMEA announces its first kids OTT service, with Nordic launch of Toonix: Turner EMEA’s first direct-to-consumer service for kids launches in the Nordic region. Available in local languages in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, as well as in English, later this summer.

Turner EMEA announced today its first-ever direct-to-consumer kids OTT service, with the launch of the Toonix app across the Nordic region later this summer. The new ad-free service caters to kids (ages 3-12) and their families, offering some of the most popular shows and movies. Through curated content and fun features, this direct-to-consumer app has been designed with kids in mind and offers them a bespoke user experience, enhanced with the addition of a variety of engaging games for them to play in a safe environment.

In the Nordics, the Toonix brand launched in 2017 as a branded kids section in the HBO Nordic service, free to their subscribers. Alongside this partnership, Turner will now be launching the Toonix app as a direct-to-consumer service in the Nordic markets.

“The launch of this OTT service marks the next step in Turner’s continuous mission to provide fan-centric user experiences and builds on the success of the launch of the Toonix brand with HBO in the Nordic region last year. This new app provides an entertainment playground for kids to engage with their favourite characters through both high-quality programming and exciting games, whenever or wherever they want”, said Pierre Branco, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Turner Northern Europe.

Besides games, Toonix will offer kids instant and on-demand access to more than one thousand hours of curated content from Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation, third party and local acquisitions. Programming highlights will for instance include: Adventure Time, Teen Titans Go!, Peppa Pig, The Amazing World of Gumball, Scooby-Doo, Barbapapa, Masha & the Bear, Bamse & the City of Thieves and Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite.

Toonix will launch in the Nordic region later this summer, and will be available on demand on iOS and Android phones and tablets, and on smart TVs.

The service will be available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, both in local languages and in English.

http://www.turner.com/pressroom/turner-emea-announces-its-first-kids-ott-service-nordic-launch-toonix