Time Warner

  • 12 May 2008 at 10:59 AM
  • Apple

HBO Wins Better Deal From Apple

Time Warner Inc.’s HBO cable network is thisclose to reaching a deal to have its programming delivered through Apple’s iTunes. Portfolio broke the story this morning, noting that when the deal is announced it will be the first time Apple agreed to a different price structure for a content provider.
The details are still vague, but HBO apparently got a better deal than other content providers. “One possibility is that HBO programming will have a higher retail price than the flat $1.99 fee Apple currently charges for video content; another is that HBO will receive a larger cut of the same flat rate than other iTunes content providers receive,” Portfolio’s Josh Saul writes.
Although both companies are likely to bill the agreement as a victory—Apple gets more content and HBO more distribution—the deal could inspire other content providers to seek better deals from Apple. Many of those who have struck deals with Apple are reportedly dissatisfied, arguing they should be getting better economics from Apple, which makes money both on the distribution of content through iTunes as well as the sale of iPods and iPhones.
HBO In Your Pocket [Portfolio.com]

carli.jpgDear Time Warner Shareholders,
I’m not going to pretend to say I’m sorry to say this—it’s so trite, so phony, so somewhat conciliatory, so just not me, Carl Icahn—so I’m just going to say it, without pretense: I told you bitches so. Yeah, that felt good.
More Talk of a Time Warner Revamp [Dealbook]

  • 01 Dec 2006 at 10:09 AM
  • Companies

Time Warner Is No Pepsi

waynepace.jpgWe don’t want to harp on the story of Gary Wandschneider, the Pepsi Bottling Group executive who went to the Feds when his attempt to get a little on the side made him the target of a twenty-two year old scammer extortionist. He’s certainly not the first wealthy, older man to find himself in a compromising situation with a nice-looking younger girl. And he probably never expected the whole thing to end up with his picture splattered across the New York Post and the internets. And now he’s out of a job. (But don’t feel too bad. He pulled down six million bucks last year, so if he’s not an idiot, he’ll be okay.)
But the news that Wandshneider was fired/quit/just stopped coming to work had us recalling another executive caught up in a sex-scandal of sorts. We’re talking, of course, about William Wayne Pace (pictured above and left), the Time Warner executive who allegedly gave lots of money and gifts to Andrea Schwartz, who police claim was leading a drug and prostitution ring. We made a couple of calls this morning but no one returned them. Nonetheless, it seems that Pace is still toiling away as chief financial officer for Time Warner.
So maybe that was Wandshneider’s biggest mistake—he was working for the wrong company. If you want to have an “inappropriate relationship” with a young woman—the kind where lots of money changes hands—you go to work for Time Warner. Pepsi is for prudes.

Dick (Hearts) Carl

dickheartscarl2.bmpIt’s totally cute. Yesterday Time Warner CEO Dick Parson’s was all over Carl Icahn, crediting the high profile investor with helping Time Warner get in touch with their shareholders and convincing the company to increase its share buyback plan.
Reuters reports on Parson’s comments at the Reuters Media Summit:

“When someone accumulates even 3 or 4 percent of your stock and starts making the kind of noises Carl was making, it causes you to get in touch with your other shareholders,” said Parsons. “There was a sense that you could use more of your capacity to buy back the stock.”
Parsons said he’s not worried about another assault by Icahn. “Someone asked me if he is happy. I’m not sure if that’s a word I would use. I’m sure he is happier.”
Icahn, for his part, said he is happy, now that Time Warner stock has risen over the past several months.
“I’m happy concerning Time Warner,” said Icahn in a phone interview on Tuesday. “The hedge fund make over $200 million and to me, that’s a lot better than having a debilitating proxy fight.”
“Dick kept the promises he made to me and that makes me happy,” Icahn added. “He promised to cut expenses and do a huge buyback.
“We helped facilitate some of those changes. I think some of those things would not have happened to the extent that they did if we hadn’t been around,” said Icahn, adding that he “got some criticism for backing off” and dropping the campaign for a full breakup.

Reuters has the whole thing up on an audio file that you can listen to here.

Time Warner CEO gives Icahn some credit

TIMELOGO.jpgTime Inc’s sale of Time4 media properties, according to a DealBreaker source, is set to include: Popular Science, Marine Group (Yachting, MotorBoating and SaltWater Sportsman), Time4 Outdoors (Field & Stream, Outdoor Life), TransWorld Media (TW Skateboarding, TW Snowboarding, TW Surf, TW Motocross, Ride BMX, Quad) and Mountain Sports Media (Ski, Skiing, Warren Miller Entertainment). Golf, Golf.com, and This Old House Ventures, including This Old House television production and This Old House magazine, will be staying at Time Inc.
As reported earlier, Time Inc’s The Parenting Group is also for sale. This group includes the magazines Parenting and Babytalk, as well as the online site Parenting.com
According to our well-placed source, In all there are 18 print titles for sale. 440 employees work at the Time4 Media titles involved and another 120 work at The Parenting Group. Employees have been told that there will be no lay-offs before the sale.
Time Inc hopes to close the deal by Christmas, the source informs us. The company expects the buyer will be a private equity firm. Hmm. Who could that be?

TIMELOGO.jpg DealBreaker has been told by sources inside Time4 that all the division editors will be meeting with co-chief operating officer John Squires–aka chief executive “Ann Moore’s assassin”–at 3 pm this afternoon in connection with the news that Time Inc plans to a bunch of its magazines up for sale today, including the Parenting Group and most of its Time4 Media magazines. The Time4 division consists of a group of leisure and special-interest titles that the company bought for $475 million in December 2000. The division includes titles such as Field & Stream, Popular Science and Outdoor Life. Its unclear exactly which titles will be sold off.
Time Inc. Sell-off of Titles to Begin Today [Ad Age]

Will Time Warner Sell Time Inc?

NormanPearlstine.jpgAs Dan Gross points out, Time Warner seems pretty uninterested in making major investments or innovations in its magazine business. Maybe its planning on selling it off. Who would buy? Oh, we don’t know. Maybe the folks who just hired Time Inc’s editor-in-chief?

And here’s a leading indicator. The Carlyle Group, the huge private-equity firm that constantly scours the marketplace for multibillion-dollar deals, last month added a new senior adviser to its media and telecommunications team: Norman Pearlstine, the former editor-in-chief of Time Inc. Pearlstine’s new job? He’s supposed to tell Carlyle which huge media companies it should buy.

Time Out

Parsons Aiming for City Hall

dickparsons2.jpgA few years ago we almost supported Mike Bloomberg for mayor because greek shipping heir and poison penned essayist Taki persuaded us that New York City needed to be led by a rich man who understood business. We’re still not sure Taki was right in saying Bloomberg deserved our backing. There have been too many betrayals and too much bungled. But he may be right that it is New York’s destiny to be led by such men, and that they tend to be marginally better than the usual alternative—career political hacks who have never spent a day weaned from the tits of tax-payers.
All this is by way of saying that we suppose the entrance of Time Warner’s Dick Parson’s into the race for New York City mayor, which New York magazine says is almost certain, is not entirely unwelcome. Word is that he’ll run as a liberal Republican—along the lines of Bloomberg and what we used to call the “Rockefeller Republicans.”

Is Parsons the New Bloomberg?
[New York Magazine]