Turner Broadcasting System Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
(abbreviated as TBS
) is an American television and media conglomerate
, part of AT&T
. Founded by Ted Turner
and based in Atlanta, Georgia
, it merged with Time Warner
on October 10, 1996. Among its main properties were its namesake TBS
, and TruTV
. It also licensed or had ownership interests in international versions of these properties. The headquarters of Turner's properties are located in both the CNN Center
in Downtown Atlanta
, and the Turner Broadcasting campus off Techwood Drive in Midtown Atlanta
, which also houses Turner Studios
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
On June 14, 2018, Time Warner was acquired by telecom firm AT&T and renamed WarnerMedia. On March 4, 2019, AT&T announced a major reorganization of WarnerMedia that effectively dissolves Turner as an operational business unit, by dispersing some of its properties into two new divisions — WarnerMedia Entertainment (consisting of Turner's entertainment cable channels and HBO
, but excluding Turner Classic Movies
(TCM)) and WarnerMedia News & Sports (CNN, Turner Sports
, and the AT&T SportsNetregional sports networks
) — while transferring others to fellow WarnerMedia division Warner Bros.
(Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TCM). The "Turner" corporate brand had also been phased out in relation to these networks. WarnerMedia refolded Turner's entertainment-based networks under a singular umbrella unit on August 10, 2020, through a consolidation of the WarnerMedia Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment assets into a new unit, WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group.
As of 2020, AT&T still reports the financial results for WarnerMedia's ad-supported cable networks under the Turner business unit.
Former Turner Broadcasting System logo, used from 1979 until 2015
Turner Broadcasting System traces its roots to a billboard company in Savannah, Georgia
purchased by Robert Edward Turner II in the late 1940s.
Turner grew the business, which later became known as Turner Advertising Company.
Robert Edward Turner's son, Ted Turner
, inherited the company when the elder Turner died in 1963.
After taking over the company, Ted Turner expanded the business into radio and television.
Turner Broadcasting System as a formal entity was incorporated in Georgia in May 1965.
In 1970, Ted Turner purchased WJRJ-Atlanta, Channel 17, a small, Ultra High Frequency
(UHF) station, and renamed it WTCG, for parent company Turner Communications Group.
During December 1976, WTCG originated the "superstation" concept, transmitting via satellite
to cable systems.
had gone to satellite transmissions to distribute its signal nationally in 1975, but that was a service that cable subscribers were made to pay extra to receive. Ted Turner's innovation signaled the start of the basic cable revolution.
In 1979, the company changed its name to Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) and the call letters of its main entertainment channel to WTBS.
In 1984, Turner initiated Cable Music Channel
, his competition for WASEC
. The channel was short-lived but helped influence the original format of VH1
Turner Program Services (“TPS”) a subsidiary under the Turner umbrella began domestic syndication of all of the properties acquired under the final disposition of the MGM deal with Kerkorian. TPS inherited over 5,000 program orders (executed, letters of intent) to have domestic syndication agreement prepared and sent to “formally” contractually license films for airing in domestic, free-over-the-air television stations throughout the U.S. The contractual “back-log” was caught up by the end of 1989, while still administering to the new & current, everyday needs of all domestic TV station's syndication needs.
In 1989, TBS Management Company under the leadership of Charles Shultz (Ted's first company controller at the original, small TV station), advanced the focus on the two music performing rights subsidiaries; one with Broadcast Music, Inc (“BMI”) and ASCAP. In the space of 1989 to 1994, Turner went from 2 subsidiary music publishing companies to no less than sixteen.
On October 10, 1996, Turner merged with Time Warner
, a company formed in 1990
by the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications.
Through this merger, Warner Bros. had regained the rights to its pre-1950 library, while Turner gained access to the company's post-1950 library and other properties.
In 2003, Philip I. Kent succeeded Jamie Kellner
as chairman. Operational duties for The WB
were transferred by Time Warner
from Warner Bros.
to Turner Broadcasting during 2001, while Kellner was chairman, but were returned to Warner Bros. in 2003 with the departure of Kellner.
In May 2006, Time Warner, which had owned 50% of Court TV since 1998, purchased the remaining 50% from Liberty Media and began running the channel as part of Turner Broadcasting. The channel was relaunched as TruTV
on January 1, 2008.
Also in May 2006, Ted Turner attended his last meeting as a board member of Time Warner and officially parted with the company.
On October 5, 2007, Turner Broadcasting System completed the acquisition of Claxson Interactive Pay Television Networks in Latin America.[unreliable source?]
On January 1, 2014, John K. Martin succeeded Phil Kent as chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting.
In August 2014, The Wrap
reported that Turner was preparing to offer buy-outs to 550 employees as part of plans to restructure the company heading into 2015. The ratings performance of CNN and HLN were cited as a factor, while CBSSports.com
reported that the rising rights fees Turner pays for its NBA broadcasts on TNT
may have also been a factor.
It was further reported in October 2014 that the company planned to reduce its workforce by 10% (1,475 people) through layoffs across a wide set of units including corporate positions.
On August 14, 2015, it was announced that Turner Broadcasting had acquired a majority stake in iStreamPlanet
, a Las Vegas-based video streaming services company, in an effort to bolster its over-the-top
programming and shift its core technology infrastructure to the cloud. iStreamPlanet is a direct competitor of Major League Baseball Advanced Media
. The deal was reported to be in the neighborhood of $200 million.
In October 2015, Turner launched a streaming-video network named Great Big Story
In April 2017, in order to expedite the sale of Time Warner to AT&T
by shedding FCC-licensed properties, WPCH-TV
was sold to Meredith Corporation
, which had already been operating WPCH under a local marketing agreement
since 2011 as a sister to its local CBS
Turner Podcast Network was formed within Turner's content distribution division in June 2017, with Tyler Moody being named general manager and vice president of the unit.
On March 22, 2018, Six Flags
and Riverside Group announced a partnership with Turner Asia Pacific to bring attractions based on Tuzki
and other Turner-owned IPs to its theme parks in China.
In December 2018, Turner Broadcasting sold the rights to the brand and its pre-2008 original programming library of defunct cable network Court TV
(which relaunched as truTV
in 2008) to Katz Broadcasting
, with plans to re-launch it as an over-the-air digital network in May 2019.
On March 4, 2019, AT&T announced a major reorganization of its broadcasting assets to effectively dissolve Turner Broadcasting System. Its assets are to be dispersed across multiple units of WarnerMedia, including the newly created WarnerMedia Entertainment and WarnerMedia News & Sports. WarnerMedia Entertainment would consist of HBO
, TBS, TNT, TruTV, and an upcoming direct-to-consumer video service
(led by former NBC
entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt
), while WarnerMedia News & Sports would consist of CNN, Turner Sports, and the AT&T SportsNet
regional networks (which would be led by CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker
). Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies would be moved under Warner Bros. Entertainment via the new "Global Kids & Young Adults" business unit.
Although AT&T did not specify any timetable for the changes, WarnerMedia had already begun to remove references to Turner Broadcasting in corporate communications, with press releases referring to its networks as being "divisions of WarnerMedia".
On August 10, 2020, WarnerMedia restructured several of its units in a major corporate revamp that resulted in TBS, TNT and TruTV being brought back under the same umbrella as Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Boomerang and TCM, under a consolidation of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment's respective assets that formed the combined WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group unit. Casey Bloys—who has been with WarnerMedia since 2004 (as director of development at HBO Independent Productions), and was eventually elevated to President of Programming at HBO and Cinemax in May 2016—added oversight of WarnerMedia's basic cable networks and HBO Max to his purview.
News and Information
Kids and Teens
- Glitz* (Latin America)
- TruTV Latin America (Also in High Definition)
- TruTV Pan-regional
- TruTV Brasil
- TABI Channel (Japan)
- Tabi Tele (Japan)
- MONDO TV (Japan)
- Mondo Mah-jong TV (Japan)
Movies & Entertainment
Note: (*) - Now owned or absorbed by sister company, Warner Bros.
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Last edited on 11 May 2021, at 10:03
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