Time Warner’s Bewkes Mum on Time Inc. Sale

Sees no cord cutting from higher cable bills; HBO originals staying on HBO

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was mum Monday on a potential sale of Time Inc. but said cost cuts and assets sales in real estate, back office and elsewhere are part of four-pronged effort to spur fast growth.

The others: surging affiliate fees and higher revenue from international and video-on-demand, Bewkes told investors at a media conference held by Deutsche Bank in Florida.

Bewkes declined to describe publisher Time, which has held talks in recent weeks with smaller rival Meredith Corp., as a non-core asset, or not. And it’s not clear if the talks are ongoing. But Time Warner has been pouring cash into television and film production and already cut lose businesses like Time Warner Cable, AOL and Warner Music judged nonessential to its filmed entertainment hub.

Bewkes is also laser-focused on TV Everywhere, a big defender of the industry’s ability to keep a lock on the current ecosystem if can offer easy, attractive ways for people to find and watch shows.

If cable companies “don’t offer an interface that is as good as what the brand video guys offer, eventually they will drive everyone away. But that’s not a rights issue, it’s an interface issue,” he said.

There’s not much evidence of cord-cutting so far, he said, despite rising cable prices. “If the price is too high, you’d expect to see people revolting in some way,” he said, but nobody buys the lower priced packages.

Asked yet again about Netflix’s foray into original programming with series “House of Cards,” which it slapped on its service in its entirety, he reiterated the importance of the “water cooler effect” for new episodes of HBO series.

“We don’t think the new stuff needs to go that way,” he said. Most other networks shares his view.

“Should CBS take “Revolution” and license it to NBC? It doesn’t seem like a great idea.”

“We do get together and talk about it,” he said. But “it’s not a lot of money. We think there’s more money in having it (HBO originals) on HBO and furthering the penetration of HBO.”

More TV

  • James Schmerer

    James Schmerer, 'MacGyver' and 'CHiPs' Writer, Dies at 81

    Prolific television writer James Schmerer, whose credits included “The High Chapparal,” “MacGyver” and “CHiPs, died on Oct. 4 at his home in Eugene, Ore., following a stroke. He was 81. Schmerer, a native of Flushing, N.Y., launched his television writing career in the 1960s and became a member of the Writers Guild of America West [...]

  • CBS

    CBS Directors Initiative Unveils Class Of 2019-20

    CBS has announced the four participants chosen for its 2019-2020 Directors Initiative. The initiative, which is now in its 16th year, aims to provide a platform for experienced directors to gain access to showrunners, execs, managers and agents, as well as shadowing network and TV studio shows at CBS throughout the year. This year’s participants [...]

  • Lori Loughlin

    Lori Loughlin Charged With Bribery in College Admissions Case

    Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted on a charge of conspiring to commit federal programs bribery on Tuesday, in connection with allegations that they paid $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli already faced charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and money [...]

  • Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct.

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct. 7: 'This Is Us' Overtakes 'Masked Singer'

    “This Is Us” and “The Masked Singer” continue to dual it out at the top of the delayed viewing ratings chart, with the NBC drama narrowly overtaking the Fox singing show after seven days of delayed viewing for week 3. “This Is Us” was the biggest grower of the week, adding a 1.5 rating to [...]

  • Gary Newman

    Fox TV Group Alum Gary Newman Joins Attention Capital as Executive Partner

    Former Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman has joined Attention Capital, the startup venture launched earlier this year by another Fox alumnus, Joe Marchese. Newman and another media biz veteran, Lisa Gersh, were named Tuesday as executive partners of Attention Capital. Newman will focus on acquisition and investment opportunities. Marchese, who previously headed advertising sales [...]

  • Matt Lauer Kurt Sutter

    From Sutter to Lauer, Hollywood Sees a Flurry of Letters From the Edge (Column)

    Let’s talk about the whacked-out letters that hit the media sphere in the past eight days. One was that bizarre mea culpa dropped Oct. 17 by the no-holds-barred showrunner Kurt Sutter in response to getting canned from his series “Mayans MC.” No stranger to complaints of unprofessional behavior on his sets over the years, Sutter [...]

  • Lisa Ling attends the 2018 Baby2Baby

    Lisa Ling Inks Overall Deal at HBO Max, Sets Dan Rather-Inspired Docuseries

    Lisa Ling, the former “View” co-host who currently emcees “This Is Life with Lisa Ling” on CNN, has inked an overall deal with forthcoming streaming service HBO Max. As part of the deal, which marks an expansion of Ling’s relationship with CNN and HBO Max parent company WarnerMedia,  HBO Max has given the greenlight to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content