Time Warner Sees Court TV as Entertainment

Turner Broadcasting, Not CNN, Takes Charge of Channel

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Time Warner will integrate Court TV into its Turner Broadcasting division as the ink dried on its agreement to buyout Liberty Media's 50% share of the network for $735 million and make Time Warner the sole owner.
Started as the cable-based Courtroom Television Network by Steven Brill in 1991, Court TV is now in 86 million homes. Time Warner has acquired 100% ownership of the crime and justice channel.
Started as the cable-based Courtroom Television Network by Steven Brill in 1991, Court TV is now in 86 million homes. Time Warner has acquired 100% ownership of the crime and justice channel.

Entertainment
Time Warner decided to put Court TV -- which splits its schedule into news and trial-focused programs in the daytime and entertainment programming in the evening -- under Turner Entertainment President Mark Lazarus rather than on the CNN side.

Turner President-CEO Phil Kent said the decision was based on such factors as "proportionate hours of programming, revenue contribution and we thought marketing that was most complementary."

Cooperation on trials, court news
CNN and Court TV may cooperate on their coverage of trials and other court-related news events, but Mr. Lazarus said "we will be smart about sharing resources but we're not going to sacrifice either brand in terms of what their goals are."

Typically Turner hasn't been interested in acquiring networks but instead has built them from the ground up, like it did with Cartoon Network. Mr. Lazarus said the Court TV acquisition indicates a change of priorities in a new media era. Court TV is in 86 million homes and its headquarters will remain in New York

"In today's environment, to launch a new linear channel is not something we think is the best use of resources, so we'll grow portfolio on the linear side through acquisitions," he said. "We'll spend our resources on developing the nonlinear side, such as what we've done with Gametap," an online gaming portal developed last year.

Operational redundancies
Time Warner said it expects to eliminate some operational redundancies where Court TV overlaps with Turner, in areas such as affiliate sales, human relations and corporate communities.

Court TV President Art Bell will remain in charge of the channel, and Charlie Collier will continue to lead Court TV sales efforts, reporting to Turner President of Ad Sales David Levy. Court TV CEO Henry Schleiff will stay on as a non-executive chairman during a six-month transition.
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