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TCM has a new owner


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WarnerMedia announces restructuring in wake of AT&T takeover

Former NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt is joining WarnerMedia as the chairman of entertainment and direct-to-consumer, a new role that comes amid a broader restructuring of the AT&T-owned media company.

Greenblatt's portfolio will include HBO and much of Turner, two divisions that were previously run separately.

John Stankey, WarnerMedia's CEO, said in a Monday morning memo that the consolidation "will provide us with the agility and flexibility needed to build our brands across a variety of evolving distribution models with a more coordinated approach to our original programming."

The announcement came a few days after the CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler, and the president of Turner, David Levy, said they would be stepping down in the coming weeks.

CNN, another unit of Turner, is untouched in the reorganization. CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker will add oversight of Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, and AT&T's (T) regional sports networks, putting him in charge of the company's live programming. His new division will be known as WarnerMedia News & Sports.

The remaining parts of Turner, like the Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies, will be folded into the Warner Bros. studio division. The studio's chief, Kevin Tsujihara, will remain in charge there.

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This sounds like they are making omelets in the morning at AT&T.

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Nope, Warner's hanging on to Cartoon Network and TCM, because those are the only two networks that are "useful" to them, namely in Warner's new full-time profession:  Exploiting and cultivating Warner House-Franchise Brand-Names in lieu of actual product.

CN will take care of the Scooby-Doo, Tom & Jerry and Space Jam marketing, while TCM handles the Casablanca, Wizard of Oz and Robin Hood...Also, yes, they'll probably figure out a way of showing Willy Wonka and Beetlejuice on it, too.  😓

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Sounds more to me like what's been pretty much de rigueur for corporate entities for ages now.

And that being that they hire some previously extremely overpaid twerp that headed another corporate entity and usually to mixed at best or even poorer results (and very often from a completely different industry) to run the show for a while, and then give HIM a fantastic golden parachute package when HE leaves.

(...and all under the guise of "Corporate Restructuring")

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2 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I don't know what it will mean for TCM, because from the articles I was looking at, more focus was seemingly on Cartoon Network being combined with DC comics to make a premier destination for kids. Just please leave TCM as it is. It's one of the few channels I even watch......

I've read a few things about other channels, like potentially taking the programming that "works" from TBS and TNT and moving it to HBO, with the plan to make HBO their chief original-programming hub, mostly phasing out movies and focusing on series. TNT would be canceled outright, while TBS would be offered up for sale to potentially return to being an Atlanta-area syndicated channel.

The one thing that I never see mentioned is TCM. I don't know of that's a good thing or a bad thing.

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Just now, LawrenceA said:

I've read a few things about other channels, like potentially taking the programming that "works" from TBS and TNT and moving it to HBO, with the plan to make HBO their chief original-programming hub, mostly phasing out movies and focusing on series. TNT would be canceled outright, while TBS would be offered up for sale to potentially return to being an Atlanta-area syndicated channel.

The one thing that I never see mentioned is TCM. I don't know of that's a good thing or a bad thing.

It is unnerving, that's for sure. On the one hand though, I could see TCM remaining as is because it shows plenty of WB owned titles (many of which are on DVD, and if the channel went down would not be considered viable to even release, which could be another coup...). But on the other, the idea of what happened to AMC still rankles. It is a pity though to hear that about TNT and TBS as both have been cable fixtures for decades, and HBO without movies seems very odd.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I've read a few things about other channels, like potentially taking the programming that "works" from TBS and TNT and moving it to HBO, with the plan to make HBO their chief original-programming hub, mostly phasing out movies and focusing on series. TNT would be canceled outright, while TBS would be offered up for sale to potentially return to being an Atlanta-area syndicated channel.

The one thing that I never see mentioned is TCM. I don't know of that's a good thing or a bad thing.

So, basically turning HBO into AMC, then?

And TNT and TBS have essentially been zombie channels in the twenty years since reruns and local movies disappeared off of broadcast and cable--TNT in the 00's was trying to restructure itself as the "Glass-Ceiling Channel" for dramatic female-professional and psychotic-female-badass series, while TBS had its collection of sitcoms and Conan O'Brien and was trying to be a "Comedy" channel.

(Sigh 😥 ...I remember when TBS was the "Braves, Tom & Jerry and Andy Griffith" local-station-with-hubris that made Ted synonymous with the Goodwill Games in the cable 80's, and all the good classic movies and reruns were on the "classy" TNT.)

It is unnerving, that's for sure. On the one hand though, I could see TCM remaining as is because it shows plenty of WB owned titles (many of which are on DVD, and if the channel went down would not be considered viable to even release, which could be another coup...). 

We KNOW by now that the Digital War is over, and out of three contenders, Digital was the one that lost.

Not sure if Warner knows that, though:  They've abandoned their World Conquest to try and use DRM to wipe Blu-ray retail off the face of the earth, and doubled-down all-in on Streaming, but they still see cable as a "threat" to our having to get movies from them directly.  If we see recent Warner movies, it'll be on their own streaming service, but old movies are banished to the Archive, and since they can't get another Archive channel going, TCM will remain the "brand name" for those.  Remember, with Warner, it's All About the Brand Name...We're the Rabbit, Not the Mouse[tm].

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I've read a few things about other channels, like potentially taking the programming that "works" from TBS and TNT and moving it to HBO, with the plan to make HBO their chief original-programming hub, mostly phasing out movies and focusing on series. TNT would be canceled outright, while TBS would be offered up for sale to potentially return to being an Atlanta-area syndicated channel.

The one thing that I never see mentioned is TCM. I don't know of that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Back around Nov last year Directv had a free 5-day or so window of HBO fare and other related stations.  It was unusual on a technical level that the aspect ratio of anything that was on HBO Comedy HD, the only HBO channel I cared to follow out of all the freebies that week, was squashed down vertically - making everyone look fat. 

Normal aspect ratio for HD TV is 1.78:1 (16:9), and modern movies are usually very close at 1.85:1 (so you get narrow stripes on the top and bottom of an HD TV).  For comparison, SD TV is 1.33:1 (4:3). 

What HBO Comedy HD had was more like 2.40:1, close to a Cinemascope picture which was just weird.  So I had to add an extra step during my video software recode and I stretched it.  2.40:1 was the actual number I plugged into it to get it back to 16:9, which worked out.

Yeah hopefully they leave TCM as-is.  They tend to get more right than not.

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Sounds like it's time to read up on things again.  Last time something like this happened, all sorts of people were worried that AT&T was going to mothball Directv.  It turned out that the CEO was quoted out of context as he was speaking to a group of futures investors, and blowing smoke up their backs on streaming.  Time will tell though.

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

(Sigh 😥 ...I remember when TBS was the "Braves, Tom & Jerry and Andy Griffith" local-station-with-hubris that made Ted synonymous with the Goodwill Games in the cable 80's, and all the good classic movies and reruns were on the "classy" TNT.)

I've been watching a lot of harder-to-find titles lately, and many of the copies that I've found were recorded off of TNT a long time ago, judging by the occasional on-screen logo. Anyone remember TNT's "Monster-Vision"?

 

 

1 minute ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

Back around Nov last year Directv had a free 5-day or so window of HBO fare and other related stations.  It was unusual on a technical level that the aspect ratio of anything that was on HBO Comedy HD, the only HBO channel I cared to follow out of all the freebies that week, was squashed down vertically - making everyone look fat. 

Normal aspect ratio for HD TV is 1.78:1 (16:9), and modern movies are usually very close at 1.85:1 (so you get narrow stripes on the top and bottom of an HD TV).  For comparison, SD TV is 1.33:1 (4:3). 

What HBO Comedy HD had was more like 2.40:1, close to a Cinemascope picture which was just weird.  So I had to add an extra step during my video software recode and I stretched it.  2.40:1 was the actual number I plugged into it to get it back to 16:9, which worked out.

Yeah hopefully they leave TCM as-is.  They tend to get more right than not.

I was an HBO subscriber for many years, but dropped it a while ago. I will re-up to watch the last season of Game of Thrones, though. Anyway, I noticed that HBO usually did the modern equivalent of pan-and-scan, wherein they'd "zoom" on the image if a film was 2.40 in order to make it fill up a 16:9 screen. In other words, no black bars. It irritated me, as I prefer the image in the original format, and it's one of the reasons I dropped the channel, along with cost-cutting and lack of interest in their other programming.

I never ran into what you're describing, but it doesn't surprise me, either. I'm getting annoyed at the classic TV channels continuing to stretch out old 4:3 show images to try and fill up a 16:9 screen. They all started off by ever-so-slightly zooming in, after which they started stretching the image to the left and right. MeTV has done it so much that the image is finally noticeably distorted, and the left and right black bars are roughly a quarter of their normal width.

 

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28 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I was an HBO subscriber for many years, but dropped it a while ago. I will re-up to watch the last season of Game of Thrones, though. Anyway, I noticed that HBO usually did the modern equivalent of pan-and-scan, wherein they'd "zoom" on the image if a film was 2.40 in order to make it fill up a 16:9 screen. In other words, no black bars. It irritated me, as I prefer the image in the original format, and it's one of the reasons I dropped the channel, along with cost-cutting and lack of interest in their other programming.

I never ran into what you're describing, but it doesn't surprise me, either. I'm getting annoyed at the classic TV channels continuing to stretch out old 4:3 show images to try and fill up a 16:9 screen. They all started off by ever-so-slightly zooming in, after which they started stretching the image to the left and right. MeTV has done it so much that the image is finally noticeably distorted, and the left and right black bars are roughly a quarter of their normal width.

Sounds like it's possible to get it backwards, both ways, if they aren't paying close attention to everything.  It sounds like MeTV is compounding more than one type of human error.

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AT&T only raised their dividend by 2%. C'mon Mr. CEO, run that TCM pig squealing

all the way to the bank.  I remember when TBS showed about every Braves game

they played and when Bill Tush had his own TV show for about a month. :)

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8 hours ago, calvinnme said:

CNN was talking today about how Trump tried to get the Justice Dept. to squash the AT&T-Time Warner merger. Like that was a bad thing. It may be the first time I approve of something Trump did/tried to do.

"Monopolies are great if the orange man hates it" :rolleyes: 

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18 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

John Stankey, WarnerMedia's CEO

Appropriately named. "Stink, stank, stunk"

Wasn't AT&T the result of breaking up one of the most powerful original monopolies, Ma Bell? Only 40 years of companies given opportunities to compete before they all get rolled into one big corporation again.

18 hours ago, EricJ said:

Exploiting and cultivating Warner House-Franchise Brand-Names in lieu of actual product.

Exactly. The bombardment & overexposure of Disney "product" is finally tiring the public. What ever happened to "exclusivity"?

I remember about a decade ago when friends commented they borrowed some rare classic movie from Netflix. I recently subscribed to Netflix streaming and couldn't even find a Barbara Stanwyck title, they're more interested in creating new shows now.

My prediction: TCM will start showing commercials for The WB shows and they will no longer rent movie packages from other studios for broadcast. I'm very afraid soon we'll be reduced to viewing blurry copies of classic movies privately uploaded on the internet. Heh, we'll wish we had the variety of 31 Days of Oscar...

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Yeah, I've seen it happen over and over.  Some long time successful business gets sold( due to the long time owner's failing health, or some other reason)  and the new owners, not realizing how the business practically runs itself, decided to change things and next you know, the long time "regulars" stop patronizing and in a few short months the new owner is boarding the windows up. 

Sepiatone

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Ma Bell was just a nickname for AT&T, which had been around since the 1870s or 1880s.

In the mid 1980s it was broken up into about six or seven separate and smaller companies

some of which gradually merged with one another. 

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