Bewkes Won’t Comment on Fox Takeover Bid

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said he would have little to say about Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to take over the media conglomerate.

On Wednesday morning’s earnings call with analysts, Bewkes said “we’re not going to comment on the proposal from 21st Century Fox or its withdrawal, except to say that the board and our senior management team appreciate very much the continued support of our shareholders.” He added that: “We’re committed to continue delivering substantial and sustainable returns into the future and we saw ample evidence of what we can accomplish during the second quarter. And that’s just the beginning.”

21st Century Fox offered $80 million to acquire Time Warner, but Time Warner’s board rejected the bid. On Tuesday, Fox withdrew the offer, sending Time Warner’s shares down 10% in after-closing trading.

On the call Bewkes said that sticking to the company’s strategy would produce strong returns. He also announced a $5 billion stock buyback plan.

“Our strong results both this quarter and the last several years are evidence that our strategy is working,” he said. "We’ve been able to achieve the highest total shareholder returns of any company in our peer group over the last six years. And we think the future of the company is even brighter.”

He added that the share buyback was an indication of “the confidence we have in our growth prospects.”

The company plans an investor day in the fall to provide more details about the company’s strategy and operations.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.