AT&T Formally Positions John Stankey To Run Time Warner’s Assets

John Stankey AT&T

AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey will indeed be in charge of the Time Warner properties after the telco completes its $85 billion acquisition.

The company just announced that beginning this Tuesday Stankey will be CEO of AT&T’s media properties — and is leading the Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team, working with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

John Donovan, who was Chief Strategy Officer, is now CEO of AT&T Communications, which includes its wired and wireless phone and TV distribution assets, including DirecTV.

“We look forward to completing the deal and delivering for customers the many benefits of this merger,” CEO Randall Stephenson says.

In addition,  Global Marketing Officer Lori Lee — who had led the Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team — will run AT&T International. It includes more than 13 million consumers and businesses in Mexico, and pay-TV service in 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bloomberg reported the division of power earlier this month, but also said that Stephenson might give up the CEO title and just serve as Executive Chairman. The company denied that: He remains AT&T’s CEO.

The separation of Time Warner and DirecTV might appeal to antitrust regulators now reviewing the acquisition. Critics of the deal fear that AT&T might use Time Warner’s news and entertainment to strangle potential competitors. That could be especially important in the fast-evolving worlds of online and mobile infotainment.

The companies say they expect the deal to close by the end of this year.

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