You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ripp ropes top of TW’s finance tower

CFO's empire expands

NEW YORK — Time Warner is set to promote the chief financial officer of Time Inc., Joseph A. Ripp, to become CFO of the whole company, a slot being vacated by Richard Bressler, the entertainment conglom said Tuesday.

Bressler was named chairman/CEO of Time Warner Digital Media earlier this month. In this newly created post, he will develop a companywide digital strategy. Ripp will take over from Bressler on July 15.

Ripp, 47, had been CFO of Time Inc. since 1994 and had worked in various financial capacities for the publishing division since 1985. In a prepared statement, Time Warner chairman Gerald Levin and president Richard Parsons credited Ripp with helping make “possible the extraordinary growth of our publishing operations” in recent years.

Steady growth

Time Inc.’s cash flow grew 60% from 1994 to 1998 to $687 million, according to Lehman Bros. analyst Larry Petrella, while its revenue grew only 30% over the same period. (Cash flow is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, although Time Warner last year switched to a slightly different measure of performance.)

“Revenues have been weak, but they have delivered very good results despite postage increases and paper price increases,” Petrella noted, adding that it was difficult to say how much of the credit Ripp deserves for the strong performance.

“Joe has been an integral part of our very small management team that has made the strategic decisions at Time Inc. about new businesses, how to improve profit margins and to manage our costs,” said Time Inc. CEO Don Logan.

In an interview Ripp said, “We were able to find lots of ways at Time Inc. that drove value,” including looking at costs and launching new products such as In Style magazine.

Given Time Warner’s collection of assets, Ripp said he expected to find ways to deliver more value as well as continue Bressler’s work of “focusing on costs and capital deployment.”

Street silent

Still, reaction was muted on Wall Street, where Ripp isn’t known. But several Wall Streeters noted that Bressler, another internal appointee to the CFO position, was also unknown in the financial community when he took over in 1995.

Yet Bressler impressed many investors and analysts with his performance as CFO. He is credited with playing a major role in the overhaul of Time Warner’s financial management, which helped trigger a dramatic stock market rally in TW stock.

Time Warner stock rose 62¢ to $68.56 Tuesday.

In his new role, Ripp will not be solely responsible for dealing with Wall Street; Bressler is expected to maintain some dealings with the Street as he explains Time Warner’s digital strategies, while Time Warner VP of investor relations Joan Sumner is also expected to assume a bigger role. TW president Richard Parsons also plays a role communicating with investors.

Ripp graduated with an MBA from City U. of New York in 1978. He worked on the Time Inc. account at accounting firm Ernst and Whinney from 1975 until joining Time Inc.

More Biz

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara Out as Warner Bros. Chief Amid Sexual Impropriety Scandal

    Kevin Tsujihara has resigned his post as chairman-CEO of Warner Bros. following an investigation into his relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk and allegations he used his clout to help her find work at the studio. In a statement, Tsujihara said he realized “my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s [...]

  • TV Ad Sales Upfronts

    NBCUniversal, Sky Make Joint Ad Offering As TV Upfront Looms

    NBCUniversal and Sky PLC will offer joint packages of advertising services, a new effort to monetize the European satellite broadcaster, which was purchased by parent Comcast Corp. for $39 billion last year. Advertisers will be able to reach customers in sundry international markets as well as the United States, using inventory across NBCU and Sky [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Head

    Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Global Head of Corporate Communications

    Amanda Collins has been named executive vice president and global head of corporate communications for Sony Music Entertainment, effective immediately, it was announced today by CEO Rob Stringer. According to the announcement, in this role she will be responsible for the company’s global internal and external communications strategy and its implementation around the world, working [...]

  • Trocadero

    Philadelphia’s Iconic Trocadero Theatre to Close, Owner Confirms (EXCLUSIVE)

    After several days of rumors and a last-minute attempt by local promoters to save it, Philadelphia’s Trocadero Theatre — part of the city’s entertainment skyline since 1870 — is closing at the end of May, owner Joanna Pang confirms to Variety. The last of the city’s mid-sized independent live venues, the 1,200-capacity Chinatown performance palace [...]

  • FilMart: China's Times Vision Steps Into

    FilMart: Arthouse Distributor Times Vision Steps Into Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    This year’s FilMart marks the international sales debut of Beijing-based distributor Times Vision, which brings to Hong Kong a slate led by crime thriller “Savage” and animated feature “Nezha.” The company will be presenting nine live action films, including one documentary, and seven animated titles. Times Vision is led by CEO Nathan Hao, who co-founded [...]

  • Kyle MasseyDDJF Costume for a Cause

    Kyle Massey Sued for Allegedly Sending Explicit Photos, Texts to Minor

    Former “That’s So Raven” star Kyle Massey is being sued for allegedly sending explicit photo, texts, and videos to a 13-year-old girl, court documents filed Friday show. The complaint is for intentional infliction of emotional distress, harmful matter sent with intention of seducing a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act with a minor, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content