• Warner Media restructures to drive digital content
  • New leadership appointments to focus on future growth
  • CNN digital 120 million unique digital viewers in 2018

Warner Media CEO John Stankey yesterday laid out a new organisational model to accelerate the development of content and distribution. 

AT&T announced its plans to acquire Time Warner in 2016

AT&T announced its plans to acquire Time Warner in 2016

Source: NYCStock / Shutterstock

The media conglomerate owned by US telco AT&T has begun transforming its operational structure with a strategic push for digital content with its teams to be organised around entertainment networks, live programming, content production and advertising sales.

The change will aim to provide agility and flexibility to build the Warner Media brands across a variety of evolving distribution models with a coordinated approach with the company’s traditional programming.

Warner Media chief executive John Stankey said he was confident the changes will help boost the company’s success in driving growth and audience engagement.

He said: “The right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.”

Warner Media News and Sports will now also include CNN Worldwide, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks.

As part of the overhaul, chairman for NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt will take on the role of chairman, Warner Media Entertainment with a focus on direct-to-consumer.

He said: “I’m honoured to be joining Warner Media during such an exciting time for the company and the industry as a whole.”

The expanded roles include CNN president Jeff Zucker, who will become chairman of Warner Media News and Sports, which aims to capitalise on the importance of live news and sports content.

Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara will take on additional responsibilities which include a new global kids and young adults business.

Meanwhile, Gerhard Zeiler has been elevated from president of Turner International to Warner Media chief revenue officer.

Warner Media aims to build on the strengths of the two industry leading digital properties – CNN.com and Bleacher Report – to benefit consumers and advertisers in their respective markets.

According to Comscore, CNN is a strong digital player with 120 million average monthly unique viewers in 2018, which is 30 million ahead of Fox News and The New York Times.

The new strategy comes with wider plans to invest in product development and data analytics to increase CNN’s digital delivery and engagement.

Under the AT&T brand, Stankey hopes advertisers will be able to better target viewers with relevant advertising using the telecom giants technology.

Last week, AT&T also announced it in reportedly in discussion with Walt Disney to sell off its 10% stake in video streaming service Hulu. Disney currently holds a 30% stake in Hulu, as does Comcast NBC Universal and once it acquires 20th Century Fox it will pick up an additional 30% ownership of Hulu, along with its current 30% stake .