Jeff Bewkes on Time Warner’s Future Under AT&T: ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’

At least, not for now

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 06: Time Warner Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes speaks onstage during day one of TheWrap TheGrill 2014 at Montage Beverly Hills on October 6, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images)

Jeff Bewkes promised Time Warner and AT&T investors that his company’s creativity won’t fall off after the proposed merger officially goes through — after all, he’ll still be there. At least, for a while.

“First of all, I’m not going anywhere,” the Time Warner chairman and CEO said Wednesday morning during a third-quarter 2016 conference call, “and will be here through the closing and into quite a period of transition after that. And then Randall [Stephenson, AT&T CEO] and I will figure out what’s the best way to go over the long run. The same is true of of our division heads and all of our top execs.”

“Most of creative input comes from outside the company, in partnership with us,” Bewkes added when asked specifically about maintaining the HBO home’s strong creative standard. “That’s the essence of Time Warner.”

And Stephenson knows that as well as Bewkes does, the Time Warner top boss said.

“They are very understanding of the need to keep this company excelling and growing and … continuing to be the leading place, which we think we are, at Warner, at Turner and at HBO,” Bewkes continued. “Creative partners outside the company … know that if they come here, we not only have a culture to make the best out of your project, but we have the resources and distribution ability — and now with AT&T, an enhanced ability to innovate.”

Like what, Jeff? More mobile products, more short-form and more virtual reality, for starters, he said.

“That’s why we’re doing this merger, and that’s why creative partners are going to find us an even more attractive place to come in the future.”

Read all about Time Warner’s strong Q3 earnings here. Movies “Suicide Squad” and “Sully” helped out, as did CNN’s TV ratings and HBO-Turner subscriptions revenues.