AT&T veteran helped launch DirecTV Now and will oversee new service’s 2019 debut
Longtime AT&T executive Brad Bentley has been named general manager and executive vice president of direct-to-consumer development at WarnerMedia on Monday, TheWrap has confirmed. Bentley will spearhead the 2019 launch of the company’s still-unnamed streaming service.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey made the announcement in a memo to employees on Monday that was obtained by TheWrap. The upcoming streaming service, set to launch during the fourth quarter of next year, will offer content from Warner Bros., HBO and Turner. Bentley will manage the service’s overall cost, schedule and performance, according to the memo, and will report directly to Stankey in his new role.
Bentley joined AT&T after more than a decade at DirecTV, helping the telecom giant launch DirecTV Now, its live TV service, in 2016. Stankey announced the company’s plans for its own direct-to-consumer streaming service last month, although a price for the service wasn’t shared. Customers will still be able to pay for HBO on its own, if they desire, according to Stankey, although it will be the centerpiece of WarnerMedia’s new service.
“Bringing the product we envision to the marketplace will require the support, coordination and cooperation of all WarnerMedia entities,” Stankey said in his memo. “By definition, the appeal of this market offer is founded in the collective assets and abilities of Warner Bros., Turner and HBO. Yes, we have a strong library and an incredible ability to make beloved content — but our biggest advantage is the dedication and passion that each of you showcase every day.”
Stankey also announced that Jeremy Legg, Turner’s chief technology officer, will assume “overall responsibilities for Turner and HBO technology operations.”
WarnerMedia will not only face competition from established streamers like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and of course, Netflix next year; Disney will be launching its own service next year, and Apple is preparing to make a stronger content push.