HBO Must 'Change Direction,' WarnerMedia Chief Says

Last month, Time Warner and AT&T completed their $85.4 billion merger, with AT&T renaming Time Warner WarnerMedia. This month, as a result of the merger, Warner Media Chief Executive John Stankey informed his company that HBO must become "bigger and broader." Stankey told 150 employees during a town hall meeting that changes are ahead.

"It's going to be a tough year," Stankey said in an interview with The New York Times. "It's going to be a lot of work to alter and change direction a little bit."

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HBO, which is a part of the AT&T network, has significant adjustments ahead of it. Even though AT&T promised, as The New York Times wrote, "to take a hands-off approach to the company's crown jewel, HBO, which has won endless Emmys while generating billions in profits." The town hall suggested that AT&T will guide how HBO does business in this new phase.

For instance, Stankey suggested that HBO would have to become more like a streaming service to stay on top and compete. To increase subscriber base and viewer watching hours, HBO will have to focus on becoming less of niche network and more of a bigger, broader service.

"I want more hours of engagement," he said. "Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow's world."

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