AT&T Rebrands Time Warner as WarnerMedia to Avoid Mix-Ups

(Bloomberg) -- Time Warner will get a new name under new owner AT&T Inc.: WarnerMedia.

The business, which includes HBO, Turner Broadcasting and the Warner Bros. studio, was christened with the moniker in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg on Friday. As part of the changes, Turner Chief Executive Officer John Martin will be leaving the company -- a widely expected move.

AT&T took over Time Warner on Thursday after a drawn-out antitrust battle. The deal, originally announced in 2016, will let the telecom giant offer new packages of wireless data and entertainment content. AT&T executive John Stankey will now be running WarnerMedia, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Other Time Warner executives leaving include Howard Averill, the chief financial officer, and Gary Ginsberg, head of communications. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will stay at the company during a transition period.

The name change means one of the most iconic names in media history -- Time -- is nearly gone. In 1989, Time Inc., the magazine giant, merged with Warner Communications Inc., a film, music and cable business, to form Time Warner Inc. -- then the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate.

Divvied Up

Since then, the company has been split up and sold off. After being spun off, Time Inc. was acquired last year by magazine publisher Meredith Inc. Time Warner Cable was sold in 2016 to the cable giant Charter Communications Inc. And even Time magazine itself is close to being sold by Meredith.

In his memo, Stankey said AT&T decided to change the name because people were confused between Time Warner, the media company, and Time Warner, the former cable company, even though Charter has renamed that business Spectrum.

“Our consumer research suggests this confusion isn’t going away any time soon,” he said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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