AOL TIME WARNER TO FOLD WB INTO TURNER DIVISION

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In the latest shake-up at the newly created AOL Time Warner, the media giant will fold its WB network into its Turner Broadcasting System division, allowing for joint ad sales, marketing and program development.

The Turner division will include the successful WB broadcast outlet, as well as a slew of cable stations, ranging from TNT to CNN to the Cartoon Network. WB network founder and CEO Jamie Kellner will lead the integrated division as chairman and CEO. Bob Pittman, president of AOL Time Warner, had been looking for a single person to head up all the company's TV network operations. Mr. Kellner built strong brands while president of Fox TV. Advertising executives believe his marketing savvy is the key reason he got the job -- to help lift Turner Broadcasting's cable networks out of their current ratings doldrums.

Two top Turner executives -- chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk and president and COO Steven Heyer -- are affected. Mr. McGuirk gives up his hands-on role but will remain vice chairman of Turner, while Mr. Heyer, a former ad agency executive, leaves the company.

Since the formation of AOL Time Warner in January, there have been significant executive departures and layoffs.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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