AOL Merges WB and TBS

07 March 2001

As part of its post-merger rationalization, media mammoth AOL Time Warner yesterday announced the folding of its WB Network into cable-TV group Turner Broadcasting System, purchased by Time Warner in 1996.

Taking charge of the operation is Jamie Kellner, chief executive of WBN, who is also assuming the role of chairman/ceo at newly-enlarged TBS, replacing Terence McGuirk who becomes vice chairman.

The move is intended by AOL chief operating officer Robert Pittman to effect closer working between the group’s many subsidiaries. As part of this drive, Kellner wants WB, which has forged a teen-oriented image for itself after programming shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to cooperate with TBS’s Cartoon Network.

Kellner also promised to be “very aggressive” with TBS’s other units, including CNN and TNT, after disappointing ratings for all save the Cartoon Network. He added that he would “ask them to raise the level of their game.”

News source: Wall Street Journal