AT&T-owned WarnerMedia has confirmed a sweeping reorganization of its executive leadership team with Bob Greenblatt joining in a newly created position and Jeff Zucker and Kevin Tsujihara expanding their roles.
Greenblatt, who just ended a seven-year run as chairman of NBCUniversal last fall, will be Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. He will also oversee HBO following last week’s stunning news of Richard Plepler’s departure after 27 years at the network.
Meanwhile, Zucker will take over as Chairman of WarnerMedia News & Sports and President of CNN, inheriting sports from David Levy, who exited along with Plepler after nearly 33 years at the company. Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara will now also oversee a new global kids and young adults business.
WarnerMedia Entertainment, overseen by Greenblatt, will now include HBO, TNT, TBS and truTV, and its forthcoming Direct-to-Consumer business. WarnerMedia News & Sports will include CNN Worldwide, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks and Warner Bros. Film, TV, and Games operations will add a new Global Kids & Young Adults business, bringing together Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, and will also include Otter Media and Turner Classic Movies
As part of the announced moves, Gerhard Zeiler will be promoted from President of Turner International to WarnerMedia Chief Revenue Officer.
The announcements were made this morning by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, confirming days of speculation about who would be up and who would be down. AT&T formally closed the $81 billion acquisition of Time Warner last June, but then had to ride out a lengthy legal appeals process by President Donald Trump’s Justice Department, which deemed the merger to be anti-competitive and anti-consumer. A three-judge panel in federal appeals court disagreed, releasing their decision last week and setting in motion the restructuring.
“We have done an amazing job establishing our brands as leaders in the hearts and minds of consumers,” said Stankey. “Adding Bob Greenblatt to the WarnerMedia family and expanding the leadership scope and responsibilities of Jeff, Kevin and Gerhard – who collectively have more than 80 years of global media experience and success – gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.”
Greenblatt said, “I’m honored to be joining WarnerMedia during such an exciting time for the company and the industry as a whole, and I look forward to working alongside the many talented executives and team members across the company. WarnerMedia is home to some of the world’s most innovative, creative and successful brands and we’re in a unique position to foster even deeper connections with consumers. And it goes without saying I will always have a soft spot in my heart for HBO going back to the rewarding experience I had producing Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under.”