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WarnerMedia announces massive restructuring to compete with streaming services

The announcement comes just days after two top executives announced their departures from the new, AT&T-owned company.
Image: Bob Greenblatt attends an event in Beverly Hills, California, on Dec. 3, 2017.
Robert Greenblatt, formerly NBC's head of entertainment, has been named chairman of the new WarnerMedia Entertainment unit, which will handle the company's direct-to-consumer business. Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic file

WarnerMedia, one of the world's biggest producers of film and TV content, announced a new organizational structure on Monday, in an effort to bolster its offerings to better compete with the rise of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Apple.

The announcement comes just days after two top executives announced their departures from the AT&T-owned company — Richard Plepler, chief executive of HBO; and David Levy, president of Turner.

Robert Greenblatt has been named chairman of a newly formed WarnerMedia Entertainment unit, which puts the former NBC Entertainment head at the top of the most pivotal corporate initiative — the direct-to-consumer business, the company said in a statement. WarnerMedia has plans to launch a bevy of new streaming channels using HBO content and the Warner library, in addition to commissioned originals.

The company’s new structure was confirmed just days after AT&T finally got the OK to close its acquisition of Time Warner, after the Department of Justice lost a long-running series of court cases to block it. AT&T renamed the company WarnerMedia.

Separately, the company confirmed that CNN President Jeff Zucker will take on more responsibility, with Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, and AT&T’s Regional Sports Networks coming under his purview.

Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros. Entertainment, will gain oversight of a new global kids and young adults business drawing on the assets of Turner’s Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang.

Another former top executive, Gerhard Zeiler, who had previously held the title of president at Turner International, will now become chief revenue officer at WarnerMedia and will run the company’s affiliate and advertising sales, the firm said.

The massive restructuring will likely result in "significant layoffs," The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the company.