Robert Greenblatt will be running the show at Warner Entertainment, the newly created unit resulting from the merger of AT&T and TimeWarner, following the departures of HBO chief executive officer Richard Plepler and Turner president David Levy.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Greenblatt is coming aboard with the title of chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer. In that role, he will oversee HBO, the company’s cable channels (which include TBS and TNT) and Warner Media’s streaming service, which is set to launch next year.
Greenblatt’s hire comes as WarnerMedia embarks on a revamping of its networks and entertainment business that the Journal report says are expected to lead to a round of cost cuts and layoffs.
As part of the restructuring, CNN president Jeff Zucker becomes WarnerMedia’s chairman of news and sports, adding the oversight of Turner’s sports operations to his duties. Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara will take the helm at Turner’s animation operations, and Gerhard Zeiler, currently president of Turner International, will become chief revenue officer.
Plepler had been with HBO since 1992, helming the cable network during a period in which it racked up 160 Emmys and brought in consistent profits. Levy had been with Turner, which includes CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, for 33 years. Among his accomplishments was a deal that brought NCAA Basketball Tournament games to TBS and TNT in a partnership with CBS.