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Report: AT&T In Talks With Media Heavyweight To Run HBO, Turner

Report: AT&T In Talks With Media Heavyweight To Run HBO, Turner

Robert Greenblatt, a TV executive and heavyweight producer, is in talks to join AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s leadership team to potentially run a new unit that would combine Turner entertainment networks, HBO and yet-to-be-launched streaming platform, sources close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

What Happened

Greenblatt's prior experience in the media space includes stints as chairman of NBC and the Universal Television production studio and as chief executive of Showtime, according to WSJ. He reportedly met with WarnerMedia's boss John Stankey about a role at its parent company AT&T, and a deal could be reached as soon as next week, according to WSJ. 

Why It's Important

Greenblatt's potential appointment to a leadership position at AT&T calls into question what role existing executives will play, WSJ said. For instance, HBO boss Richard Plepler and Turner President David Levy now report to Stankey, but they may be pushed "down the pecking order," the report said. 

The Hollywood Reporter initially reported on Greenblatt's potential appointment and said it could be part of a "broader shake-up" under AT&T's ownership. The timing of the report is no coincidence and follows a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in AT&T's favor regarding the acquisition of Time Warner, which is seen as a sign the company now has a green light to make high-profile staffing changes.

What's Next

AT&T's top priority moving forward is to push its streaming platform to include content from TNT and TBS while marketing HBO Now as the "centerpiece" of its efforts, WSJ said.

Related Links:

AT&T's Acquisition Of Time Warner 'Compelling,' But Will Take Time To Show Results

Analysts: AT&T Earnings Weren't That Bad


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