TimeWarner Now WarnerMedia After AT&T Acquisition

The old name was apparently confusing for many customers.

CNN (“Time Warner unveils its new name: WarnerMedia“):

One day after completing its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T announced a new name for the media company: WarnerMedia.

John Stankey, the new CEO of the company, announced the rebranding and a series of structural changes in an internal memo on Friday afternoon.


In Friday’s memo, Stankey explained the rationale behind the new name.

“Why WarnerMedia? The short answer is that it tested very well externally as a naming convention that holds the valuable HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. brands,” he wrote. “In addition, we felt that maintaining an element of the proud, established and successful Time Warner is a testament and sign of respect for both its history and for you, as architects of that legacy.”

Stankey pointed out that the old name created confusion because many people “never learned to distinguish between Time Warner, the media company, and Time Warner, the former cable company.”

“Our consumer research suggests this confusion isn’t going away any time soon,” he added. “So, it is easier and more economical to change the name, than invest in advertising to resolve the confusion.”


Stankey’s memo on Friday acknowledged that there are impending layoffs in corporate departments of the former Time Warner.

He said the three main divisions “will see little change,” but “many of the redundant corporate support functions between our companies at the HQ/holding company level will be eliminated in the coming months.”

I was only vaguely aware that there was a “Time Warner Cable,” so that association never existed for me. I’m old enough that the Time magazine brand still means something but, for anyone under 40, it’s not valuable.

I’ll be more interested to see how the new WarnerMedia interacts with AT&T, which also bought DirecTV three years ago. The synergy between AT&T’s mobile network, the satellite TV provider, and the WarnerMedia properties should be substantial.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ben Wolf says:

    Yes, it will be “substantial” to go from six gigantic corporations controlling media to five. I can’t wait for the synergy of having it all controlled by a single entity.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Ben Wolf: I worry about monopoly power, especially with net neutrality disappearing. But, thus far, we’re seeing an explosion of new content of extraordinarily high quality.

    What I fear, though, is only being able to get various content by subscribing to their platforms. That seems to be the inevitable outcome of cord-cutting combined with every content provider making their own stuff. It’s one thing to have to subscribe to both Netflix and HBO. It’s another, indeed, to have to pay for both DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.

  3. teve tory says:

    Corporate consolidation doesn’t just hurt customers and small business formation, it depresses wages. We need an extended period of trustbusting. Personally I’d start with Wal-Mart.

  4. Ben Wolf says:

    @James Joyner: I see two ways we can go regarding entertainment: we can have packages curated by mega-corps or we can go á la carte. The latter would in my opinion be much more preferrable and works very well, for example, in podcasting. If you like History of Rome you pay for History of Rome, etc.

    But the real problem is not selection of entertainment, it is rather control of information.

  5. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Cable operators/telecomunications controlling content has a pretty horrible story worldwide. That’s a huge problem in markets with media monopolies. Comcast should not have been allowed to buy NBCUniversal, and AT&T should not have been allowed to buy TW. One could argue for consolidation between media conglomerates, but telecomunications companies should not be allowed to control TV networks.

  6. Tyrell says:

    I have not been able to find out if ATT now owns the Warner Brothers movie studios a d TV channel.

  7. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “I have not been able to find out if ATT now owns the Warner Brothers movie studios a d TV channel.”

    Well, since Warner Bros is part of Time Warner and ATT just bought Time Warner, we’re going to have to go with yes on this one.

  8. Tyrell says:

    @wr: Thanks for the information. I remember when our phone company was Southern Bell. Our monthly bill came on a card about the size of a postcard and was $8 a month. Then they broke up the phone company. In a few months the phone bill came on three sheets of paper and went to $13 a month. There is a lesson there somewhere.