NEW YORK — Time Warner Inc. promoted longtime Turner Broadcasting System Inc. executive Terry McGuirk to chairman, president and chief executive of TBS Inc., as Time Warner forms a management team in anticipation of its $6.5-billion purchase of Turner.
The New York-based company also said on Tuesday that Jeff Bewkes will retain his position as chairman, president and chief executive of Time Warner's Home Box Office cable-TV channel; and Tom Johnson will remain chairman, president and chief executive of Turner's flagship channel, Cable News Network. McGuirk previously was an executive vice president at Turner.
The three executives will report to Ted Turner, who will become vice chairman of the combined company. Analysts said Ted Turner was expected to keep his own people to run many of the cable operations.
"Ted Turner has cable networks in his blood, so why should anybody be surprised he would want to take over those areas?" said Hal Vogel, media analyst at Cowen & Co.
A Time Warner spokesman said he didn't know whether Scott Sassa, who resigned as president of Turner Entertainment Group, the parent of the Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, would be replaced. Sassa was on a six-member steering committee overseeing the combination of the two companies.
Apart from HBO, Bewkes will continue to oversee Cinemax and Time Warner's stakes in Comedy Central and E! Entertainment television cable channels. Johnson will be responsible for CNN, CNN International, Headline News, CNNfn, and CNNSI.
McGuirk will oversee the Turner entertainment networks, including Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies and the Cartoon Network.
"Assembling all of our cable programming assets under Ted's leadership will ensure the continued growth and development of these assets and maximize our ability to build and deliver value for our shareholders," said Gerald Levin, Time Warner chairman.
Levin said the company will announce additional decisions soon regarding the integration of Turner into Time Warner. The company reportedly plans to cut 1,000 jobs and $100 million in expenses from the combined business.
Time Warner shareholders are scheduled to vote Oct. 10 on the company's offer to buy the 82% of Turner it doesn't already own.
Time Warner shares closed up 25 cents on Tuesday at $37.625.