As AT&T started to make serious changes to the erstwhile Time Warner Inc. a little over two years ago, a question lingered in the media-entertainment industry: Could what has become the most prestigious brand in television, HBO -- which survived the transition from modern-era architect Chris Albrecht to Richard Plepler a decade earlier -- continue its run of success under new management? And not just any new management, AT&T management.
Well, judging by HBO's burgeoning subscriber count -- nearly 74 million as of last quarterly report -- and its steady slew of recent water-cooler hits, you'd have to say the Jason Kilar Administration carried the HBO baton just fine.
But one need only examine the subject of HBO's most recent hit, Winning Times, to understand that an organization can't stay successful forever. Yes, Next TV is grieving over the culmination of the Los Angeles Lakers' most embarrassing season ever ... and wondering if Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav will be the next Rob Pelinka, president of basketball operations for the Lakers and architect of their current roster. Fair question -- The Sopranos ain't Shark Week.
In any event, following CEO Kilar's long expected announcement Tuesday that he'll indeed leave WarnerMedia upon closure of the $43 billion spinoff of the media division and merger with Discovery, now expected to happen as soon as the end of this week, WarnerMedia has confirmed the following list of other top-level executives also ankling. (Note the list below was sent by WarnerMedia press reps to Re/code's Peter Kafka, who tweeted it out.)
These folks leave while operating at a high level. And judging by their social media posts, which include a loving goodbye from CRO Tony Goncalvez on LinkedIn posted Wednesday afternoon, they all seem to humbly understand the rich legacy of the media company they depart.
We now wait to see if Zaslav's team can carry on this legacy from them:
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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