The confusion should be behind us now. According to CNBC, AT&T has announced that its recently acquired subsidiary TimeWarner will henceforth be known as WarnerMedia.
First, a little history
When you look at this company, you’re looking at a conglomeration of some of the most powerful corporations of the 20th century. AT&T brought voice service to the world. Time, Inc. published Time and Life magazines, both news sources of great importance. Warner Bros. pictures was a leading light in the film world and innovator in pay TV (they invented Home Box Office or HBO as you know it.)
Even more impressive, the umbrella once held AOL and Time Warner Cable. These companies faded in the 21st century but toward the end of the 20th they were pretty darn important. Time Warner Cable pioneered high speed internet in much of the country. AOL brought millions of people to the web in the first place. Those two left the family, though. Verizon bought AOL and formed “Oath.” Charter bought Time Warner Cable forming the most universally derided internet service provider in the history of history. (I may be exaggerating here. I may not.)
And now, AT&T owns…
Well when the deal closed it was referred to as TimeWarner. It shall henceforth be known as WarnerMedia. There’s a lot of good stuff to unpack with that one move.
- The new name means no one will think AT&T owns Time Warner Cable.
- It’s an acknowledgement that the future doesn’t lie in magazines like Time.
- Even though the trend’s been around for a while, mushing two words together still looks cool.
- They get to stick the word “Media” in there which is also cool-sounding.
Sounds good to me.
With this name change done, new CEO John Stankey (who also masterminded the AT&T/DIRECTV deal along with DIRECTV’s then CEO Mike White) takes a role as “the new head of WarnerMedia.” Mr. Stankey is a very smart fellow to be sure. I think that he’s going to really move the new company into some amazing places. There is a rumor of a Warner-focused streaming service, more synergy with AT&T’s wireless division, and continued innovation throughout the organization.
It makes sense to expect more high-quality programming from WarnerMedia. If you like Westworld and Game of Thrones, prepare to be happy. Those shows are just the latest in a series of hits from HBO. Think about the transformative hits of the last two decades. Chances are you’ll think of at least one HBO program. Now, with the world of entertainment transforming faster than ever, the new WarnerMedia is ready to go further than anyone.