Ah the perks of media consolidation!
As a welcome gift to employees of WarnerMedia, the newly-christened company formerly known as Time Warner Inc., new corporate owner AT&T is offering “robust employee discounts” on AT&T products and services, according to internal memos obtained by Variety. Some staffers had hoped that one benefit of being owned by a telecommunications giant would be free phones. Instead, they’ll have to be content with a 50% discount on voice, text, and data plans, to say nothing of free DirecTV and an upgrade waiver on mobile devices.
The name change and invitation to take advantage of the corporate perks are part of the wide-ranging employee outreach by AT&T brass after it completed its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner last week. AT&T honchos have planned a series of town hall meetings across the company, including meetings at HBO in New York, Warner Bros. in Burbank, and Turner in Atlanta. A meeting with corporate staff was set to take place in New York on Monday.
“I look forward to meeting you and fielding your questions,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey wrote in a memo to employees on Friday. “I don’t expect that these sessions will answer all your questions. But I hope they will start a dialogue and provide further insight on how the combined company might address industry challenges of consolidation, vertical integration, direct to consumer models, data/advertising innovation and globalization.”
Stankey made it clear he wouldn’t be offering his views on what content the WarnerMedia brands should make. “I have tremendous respect for the world-class creative talent we have throughout the company,” he said. “My job is to help you continue doing what you do better than anyone, which is why my focus will be on business strategy, distribution, technology/platforms and capital allocation.”
Stankey also elaborated on his priorities in an interview with Variety where he said he was plowing through DVDs and screenings to get up to speed on WarnerMedia’s vast library of content.
The employee town halls starting this week will include a conversation on the Warner Bros. lot Wednesday with studio chairman Kevin Tsujihara and Stankey. Employees are being encouraged to submit questions ahead of the meeting, which will be live streamed across the company.
The Turner meeting in Atlanta is expected to be moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, while HBO chief Richard Plepler will emcee a town hall on Tuesday.
A request seeking comment from a WarnerMedia spokesman was not immediately returned Monday.