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Turner CEO to depart amid AT&T merger

Turner CEO John Martin is to depart the company as AT&T completes its $85bn acquisition of Time Warner.

The news was revealed by AT&T Entertainment boss John Stankey in a company memo to staff. He said: “You’ll note that we have changed how Turner is organised given that John Martin will no longer be with the company as a result of the merger.”

“This initial Turner org structure will allow me to work more closely with more Turner leaders and accelerate my personal learning of the business as we define our shared priorities across the company.”

Following the departure, David Levy, president of Turner, Gerhard Zeiler, president of Turner International and Jeff Zuckers, president of CNN Worldwide, will report to Stankey.

The memo also revealed that Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes will retire after briefly supporting the team through a transition period.

During this time the Time Warner brand will also transition into a new brand named WarnerMedia, which will become less prominent than established brands such as HBO and CNN.

“I am sure you have questions about what the merger means for you, personally,” Stankey said in the memo.

“Candidly, that’s hard to answer on an individual level in a note like this. But at a broad level, I can tell you that the primary mission and focus of each of the operating divisions remains the same. HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. are each successful, well-run businesses with great cultures and amazing creative talent. Their daily operations will see little change.

“But because we are now a subsidiary of AT&T Inc., many of the redundant corporate support functions between our companies at the HQ/holding company level will be eliminated in the coming months. That said, we will continue to maintain a small operating staff in support of the media company.”