Tsujihara Talks TurnerNew Warner Bros. CEO discusses how Turner Broadcasting System’s Phil Kent helped bridge the gap between their two divisions and Warner Bros.’ role in TV Everywhere 3/25/2013 12:01:00 AM Eastern
Phil Kent says he has been great friends and colleagues with
new Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara
for a decade. "He and I talk a lot, and I'm going to do everything I can to
help him be a great CEO," Kent says. Tsujihara spoke separately with B&C
about how Kent has helped bridge the gap between their two divisions and Warner
Bros.' role in TV Everywhere. An edited transcript follows.
What has been your
working relationship with Phil Kent to this point? How do you anticipate that
evolving in your new role?
We've had a great working relationship. You go back to before Phil got there
versus what the relationship looks like now, across all the businesses-whether
it's Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS-the business and the relationship has changed
dramatically, and I think Phil has a lot to do with it, Phil and [Warner Bros.
chairman] Barry [Meyer]. It wasn't always a great relationship. He's done an
incredible job of creating a bridge.
I hope it continues to grow. I think that both between
Warner Bros. and Turner as well as between Warner Bros. and HBO, I hope that we
are all able to create a stronger bond. It's a much smaller company. We're
going to try to be much more nimble. And it's going to require a level of
collaboration and work together that quite frankly wasn't necessary before.
Time Warner has
been a leader in TV Everywhere. Many people think it's moving too slowly;
Turner's David Levy said recently he was "embarrassed" by the status of it. How
satisfied are you with the state of TV Everywhere within the company and
We're incredibly supportive of TV Everywhere. Obviously we don't own a
broadcast network, we own half of one with CBS, The CW. We don't own a station
group, which would be the natural kind of partner or the one that has the conversations
with [multichannel video programming distributors]. We are definitely
supportive. We have been supportive from day one and think that we're an
important part of the ecosystem and need to continue to be one. We recognize
and view [TV Everywhere] as one of the most important things the industry
On any industry initiative, you always kind of hope that
they happen sooner. But there's a lot of constituents, there's a lot of parties
that don't always see things 100%. The strategy of TV Everywhere is fairly
widely upheld across the industry. It's just how do you implement it and how do
you execute on it. There hasn't been 100% alignment on that.
What do you think
the studio chief's role is in TV Everywhere?
Well, as a content provider to the networks we do [have a role] to all the
cable and broadcast networks. Obviously we play a role in the kinds of business
templates we create that allow TV Everywhere to be successful. We do play a
role in that process. We definitely are an interested party in trying to keep
the ecosystem strong and vibrant because we're the biggest producer of TV
programming in the world.