The 54-year-old John Stankey, who was recently named to oversee HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN (if AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition wins federal approval), sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for his first interview since he was tapped for the job on July 28.
Stankey is a 30-year veteran of AT&T. He was raised and educated in Los Angeles, and a graduate of Loyola Marymount. He got his MBA from UCLA. He still does not seem to have a favorite TV show, even though he now acknowledges he has to “spend more time getting exposed to what’s out there.”
When AT&T acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion in 2015, Stankey was the chief strategy officer. This deal made AT&T the biggest pay TV company in the country, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Now AT&T is close to acquiring Time Warner, and questions are being asked about what the telecommunications giant will do with the entertainment and news company—home to HBO, the Warner Bros studio, Turner Broadcasting, and CNN. Stankey says the acquisition will help both AT&T and Time Warner thrive and said that it might give consumers of entertainment “more appetizing options, such as ads that are more relevant to individual viewers and less frequent.”
Stanley, however, remained vague on how much AT&T will spend and how soon, to build the Time Warner business. He has said that Warners CEO Kevin Tsujihara won’t be replaced. He “is very clear that the entertainment industry has its own idiosyncratic culture and AT&T does not intend to try to change it” writes Hollywood Reporter and says that they have to earn their way in.
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