In his first interview since he was named as the executive to lead Time Warner — which will soon have a new name — Stankey tells The Hollywood Reporter that he considers news to be much like sports in terms of providing content that is urgent and watchable on a variety of devices. “It would be a strategically missed opportunity if we weren’t in that business,” he says.
As for Time Warner’s TMZ, which has also been the subject of sale speculation, Stankey says he is still unfamiliar with the property. Overall, however, he says AT&T is buying a collection of assets and has “no intention to divest any of that or restructure it, unequivocally, bar none.”
Stankey, a 30-year AT&T veteran, was tapped last week to oversee Time Warner’s assets once AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition is approved. U.S. antitrust officials, who have been reviewing the proposed deal for months, are poised to approve the deal, Bloomberg recently reported. If so, Stankey is about to become one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, overseeing a portfolio that includes HBO, Warner Bros., Turner networks and, yes, CNN.