Cartoon Network Is Now A Part Of Warner Bros. Global Kids & Young Adults, Turner To Be Fully Integrated Into WarnerMedia
Today (4th March), AT&T’s WarnerMedia has announced a new organisation structure which will cause Turner and HBO to cease being semi-autonomous subsidiaries and will become fully integrated into WarnerMedia. Amid speculation towards the end of last week (28th February/1st March), WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has officially announced that Bob Greenblatt, who was most recently Chairman for NBC Entertainment, will become Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. The WarnerMedia Entertainment division will include Turner’s general entertainment channels such as TNT, TBS and also HBO’s channels, however, TCM, along with streaming media division – Otter Media are now under Warner Bros. Last week, Turner President David Levy and HBO President Richard Plepler announced that they’re leaving the company.
According to prior reports from various news outlets, it was suggested that a full Turner/HBO merger will happen, but now it seems that Turner is splitting up into separate WarnerMedia departments.
Cartoon Network’s owners – Turner has been split up into three parts within the WarnerMedia group, WarnerMedia Entertainment, WarnerMedia News and Sports and Warner Bros.’s new department –
Global Kids & Young Adults which will include Turner’s kids and young adults brands – Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim as well as its international brands – Cartoonito, Boing, Toonix and Toonami. Kevin Tsujihara, the Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros will oversee the new Global Kids & Young Adults business. The president of Turner International, Gerhard Zeiler has been promoted as WarnerMedia’s Chief Revenue Officer and will be in charge of WarnerMedia’s Affiliates and Advertising Sales Group. Also, Jeff Zucker will become Chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and President of CNN.
My analysis on the restructuring:
Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) has owned Turner since 1996, but the kids and young adults part of the company has been treated separately from Warner Bros for over 22 years, as a result, Turner had to do content deals with Warner Bros as if it was negotiating with a different company. The new restructuring will enable Cartoon Network to directly utilise Warner Bros’s movie, animation and video games divisions, which will enable the company to compete against against the likes of Disney, it also means that Cartoon Network and Hanna-Barbera are finally reunited at last. The downside to the restructuring is that it could lead to job losses because of common functions among businesses. The Turner brand name will live on in WarnerMedia’s TNT, TBS and TCM channel brand names. AT&T originally said they wouldn’t change anything at Turner, but this is no longer the case.
From The WarnerMedia Press Release: WarnerMedia Announced New Organizational Model And Leadership Team
WarnerMedia today announced a new organizational model to accelerate the investment in and development of content. WarnerMedia will organize its teams around entertainment networks, live programming, content production and affiliate and advertising sales.
As part of the organizational announcement, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey announced that Robert Greenblatt, who was most recently Chairman for NBC Entertainment, will take on the role as Chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. Stankey also announced expanded roles for Jeff Zucker, who becomes Chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and President, CNN; and for Kevin Tsujihara, who continues as Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. with additional responsibilities including a new global kids and young adults business; and Gerhard Zeiler, who has been elevated from President, Turner International to WarnerMedia Chief Revenue Officer.
“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.”
WarnerMedia Entertainment led by Bob Greenblatt will include HBO, the linear cable networks TNT, TBS and truTV, and the Direct-to-Consumer business. This change will provide the company with the agility and flexibility needed to build WarnerMedia’s brands across a variety of evolving distribution models with a more coordinated approach to the company’s original programming.
WarnerMedia News & Sports will include CNN Worldwide (CNN, CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Great Big Story), Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks. Jeff Zucker will continue to lead CNN and now run this expanded organization to capitalize on the importance of live news and sports content, as well as helping to build on the strengths of the company’s two industry-leading digital properties – CNN.com and Bleacher Report – to benefit consumers and advertisers in their respective market segments.
Warner Bros.’ film, television, and games operations will add a new Global Kids & Young Adults business that brings together the family, kids and animation efforts from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Additionally, Otter Media, Turner Classic Movies and all activities around licensed consumer products development for WarnerMedia properties will also reside here. Kevin Tsujihara will spearhead these efforts and continue to lead Warner Bros. which, under his direction, has become the only studio with premiere positions in television, film and videogames.
The company will consolidate all WarnerMedia Affiliates and Advertising Sales Groups under one unified structure led by Gerhard Zeiler. He will utilize his broad experience in both public and commercial broadcasting sectors across multiple geographies to unite all of the WarnerMedia network affiliate sales and advertising sales businesses to help benefit advertisers, distributors, partners and the company.
Mr. 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.”
Greenblatt is a seasoned television veteran and producer who was most recently Chairman of NBC Entertainment where he helped to transform NBC into the highest-rated, most-watched, and most- awarded broadcast network with hit programming like This Is Us, The Good Place, the Chicago trilogy, The Voice, and a series of live musicals and events. He has strong relationships with talent and deep experience on both the production and programming sides of the business for network and cable television, giving him a unique understanding of running and developing a content business. His career began at the Fox network where he delivered iconic shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Party of Five, The X-Files, Ally McBeal and King of the Hill. He then rebranded Showtime for the modern era with signature series such as Weeds, Dexter, The Tudors, Nurse Jackie, and Shameless. As a respected and award-winning producer he was awarded the Golden Globe and Peabody awards for HBO’s classic series Six Feet Under; and he has two Tony awards for his work on Broadway.
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences.