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Business

AT&T Boss Defends Time Warner Against “Absurd” Government Claims

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson took the witness stand this afternoon, appearing in a Washington federal court as the final defense witness in the five-week antitrust trial over the mobile giant’s pending merger with Time Warner. Ridiculing the Department of Justice complaints as “absurd,” the bespectacled 58-year-old architect of the deal defended it as a necessary measure by two traditional companies facing unprecedented competition from tech rivals. By joining forces, he… Read

Business

Mattel Names Endemol And Maker Studios Alum Ynon Kreiz As New CEO

Ynon Kreiz Maker Studios

Ynon Kreiz, known in Hollywood circles for his exec stints at Maker Studios and Endemol Group, has been named CEO of Mattel. Already a board member of the toymaker and poised to become board chairman pending a shareholder vote on May 17, Kreiz will officially take the CEO reins on April 26. Margo Gerogiadis, who became chief executive in February 2017, is stepping down “to pursue a new opportunity in the technology sector,” the company said. (Reportedly the new role is at… Read

exclusiveTV

John Wells Productions Taps Amazon Studios’ Erin Jontow As EVP Of Television

John Wells Productions has brought in Erin Jontow as EVP of Television. Jontow comes to JWP from Amazon Studios where her work included overseeing production on Matthew Weiner's upcoming anthology series The Romanoffs and development of The Nix, the J.J. Abrams-Meryl Streep limited series, which the streaming service had in consideration for some time in the past year or so. Prior to Amazon, Jontow worked as the VP of Television at Media Rights Capital Studios on series… Read

Film

Courtney Braun Named Head Legal Affairs Exec At Endeavor

Courtney Braun has been named Head of Legal Affairs for the representation businesses of Endeavor, including WME, IMG Models, The Wall Group, Art & Commerce, and Dixon Talent. Braun will work alongside Tom McGuire who will continue to lead Business Affairs for deals and business strategy. Braun will be responsible for setting all legal policy and procedure for Endeavor's representation businesses. She will cover legal matters such as navigating legal claims/litigation… Read

Film

Toronto Film Festival Ups Cameron Bailey To Co-Head

Cameron Bailey

Toronto Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey has been promoted, with the fest’s board of directors saying today he has been upped to the newly created position of Artistic Director & Co-Head of TIFF. The role expands Bailey’s duties; he has been artistic director since 2012, and before that was festival co-director from 2008-2012. The board said that Bailey’s promotion is part of a plan for a two-headed structure to head the festival; Bailey will focus on the… Read

TV

Travel Channel Names Jane Latman General Manager In Expanded Role

Travel Channel has named veteran TV exec Jane Latman as General Manager, expanding her current role with Discovery. Latman now will be responsible for the creative leadership and programming strategy for the 83 million subscriber network. Latman will remain in Silver Spring, MD and continue to serve as EVP, development and research for Investigation Discovery and American Heroes Channel and general manager of Destination America. She will continue to report to Henry… Read

Business

AT&T Exec John Stankey Testifies “Battle” For Viewer Attention Sparked Time Warner Bid

John Stankey AT&T

After sitting in Courtroom 18 of the U.S. District Court in Washington for the past month, AT&T exec John Stankey finally had his chance to testify late today about the motivation behind the companies’ $85 billion merger. “The market we are competing in is for time and attention,” he said under direct questioning from lead defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli. “Facebook, Google, Netflix — they are all distracting people from other things they used to do” like tune in linear… Read

Business

Time Warner Boss Jeff Bewkes Pushes Back At What DOJ Is “Missing”

Under cross-examination by a Department of Justice attorney, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes hit back at repeated suggestions that the company has been growing its TV ad revenues even before pursuing the AT&T merger. “What you’re missing is that the competition for advertising isn’t just about television,” he told DOJ attorney Claude Scott during his third hour of testimony this afternoon. “If digital advertisers are able to target consumers with messages delivered through… Read

Business

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Testifies Company Needs AT&T Deal “To Get To The Next Round” Of Media Game

Jeff Bewkes

Testifying today in the trial of the government's lawsuit seeking to block its merger with AT&T, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes painted a grim picture of the threat posed by tech giants, especially Facebook, Google and Amazon. What Bewkes called "tectonic changes" introduced by the companies, as well as Netflix and others over the past five years, are grounded in the amount of data they can gather about viewers. Time Warner, comparatively, is in the dark, he said. "We know… Read

exclusiveFilm

More/Medavoy Expands Management Team

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Schulman has been promoted to manager and Stephen Belden has been added as a manager to the team at More/Medavoy Management. Schulman has worked alongside partners Erwin More and Brian Medavoy since the reboot of More/Medavoy Management in 2014. Before that, he worked at Abrams Artists and Fremantle Media North America. Belden is joining More/Medavoy after having previously been a manager at ATN Entertainment. He also worked at Sovereign Talent Group… Read

TV

Stacey Adams Named VP Current Programming At ABC Entertainment

Stacey Adams has joined ABC as VP Current Programming. Moving over from the same post at CBS, the exec will oversee scripted drama and comedy programming. She’ll report to . "Stacey is a highly respected, experienced creative executive who is passionate about television," said Vicki Dummer, head of Current Series Programming at ABC Entertainment, to whom she’ll report. "She has strong relationships and great creative instincts, and I am very excited to have her join the… Read

breakingBusiness

Cartoon Network Elevates Vishnu Athreya To SVP Programming

Vishnu Athreya has been promoted to SVP, programming at Cartoon Network, an expanded role. The new title was announced by Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. Athreya will add series development for Boomerang while continue to oversee scheduling, acquisitions, and the strategic positioning of programming content across all branded linear and non-linear program platforms for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Athreya is based in Atlanta and will still report… Read