One month after the close of the acquisition, and there are already warning signs.
By Bryan Bishop
One of the big questions surrounding AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner has been about how the telecom giant will handle its new flagship entertainment brands. Earlier this week, a story from The New York Times raised some concerns about the future prospects of HBO. The story recounted a June 19th town hall with new Warner Media chief executive John Stankey, HBO CEO Richard Plepler, and 150 HBO employees, during which Stankey made it clear that he expected HBO to ramp up content production and diversify its offerings. The account painted a grim picture for the network, which has excelled, thanks to its incredibly discerning taste and prestige-level programming. Making things as awkward as possible, Stankey predicted that the coming year would be so arduous that it would feel "like childbirth" for HBO employees.