TimeWarner on its own under current CEO Jeff Bewkes is a pretty lean well oiled machine. But as the company is about to be absorbed by telecom juggernaut AT&T, the man who will be in charge of weaving the vast media/entertainment assets of the storied media giant into the fabric of AT&T John Stankey, has a massive task ahead of him. In fact, the success of the merger is all on him and could possibly determine his future at the company. The first obvious negative for Mr. Stankey in the eyes of some is that nobody knows who he is in the circles that TimeWarner operates in. He is an unknown in Hollywood, a neophyte of sorts in the media and entertainment business. it is this fact why speculation is high about the future of Warner Bros Chief Kevin Tsujihara and his role within the company once the nearly $90 billion deal closes. Tsujihara could play a key role in the running of the businesses alongside Mr. Stankey which would be a smart move. Mr. Stankey shared his confidence in Mr. Tsujihara calling him a talented guy and saying he hopes he sticks around because they would love to have him.
Buying Time Warner would transform the Dallas phone company into the largest and, perhaps, most powerful entertainment company in the world. But the success of the merger will hinge on Stankey’s skills in stitching together two starkly different enterprises at a time of upheaval in media. He’s a relative newcomer to Hollywood who has spent his career in the bureaucratic telecommunications business.
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