In a major executive shakeup, HBO CEO, Richard Plepler and Turner President, David Levy, are leaving WarnerMedia. The news comes the day after the DOJ dropped their appeal trying to block AT&T’s $85B acquisition of Time Warner.
Plepper, who spent 27 years at HBO, informed his staff in a company-wide memo of his decision. The memo, which was received by The Hollywood Reporter said:
“My dad always gave the best advice. Whenever there was a difficult decision to make, he counseled that since no one could ever have perfect visibility into the future, the best thing you could do was trust your instincts. It has been a touchstone for me throughout my life, and I have found myself returning to it again recently as I think about what is an inflection point in the life of this wonderful company. Hard as it is to think about leaving the company I love, and the people I love in it, it is the right time for me to do so.”
The report shared that Pleper had decided to leave weeks ago, after HBO lost much of its autonomy after the acquisition. WarnerMedia’s CEO John Stankey has taken more control of the premium network, as it is thought to be the building block of Warner’s streaming service that is expected to launch in late 2019.
While it has not been confirmed, a report in Variety indicates that Turner President David Levy is also on the way out. Levy became President of Turner in 2013 which includes TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, and CNN. It is thought that much of the content budget allocated to Turner will be shifted to HBO, leaving the Turner role to oversee live sports — a much smaller responsibility than before.