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Entertainment Media/Telecom

Conan O’Brien Takes Jabs as AT&T, as Execs Tout Integrated Approach

AT&T may be Conan O’Brien’s new boss but that didn’t make him pull any punches at his show’s new owners during WarnerMedia’s upfront presentation in New York Wednesday. After WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey gave a somewhat formal introduction to the upfront, Mr. O’Brien took the stage joking about how he was worried the audience  would be stiff, but “John Stankey came in and whipped you into a frenzy.”

The jabs didn’t stop there as he went on to say that the AT&T after party would be a terrible reception and only have two bars.

During the show renowned TV executive Kevin Reilly, who is in charge of WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service as well as TNT and TBS, talked about how the company was taking a more integrated approach when putting shows on its streaming service and on its linear channels. He noted that the “binge and burn mentality,” associated with streaming services can dilute the value of content, and WarnerMedia would be taking a different approach.

That accounts for why WarnerMedia has executives working on shows for both the streaming service and its networks. It remains to be seen if the approach will help the company compete with the plethora of other streaming services available and coming to market. As Mr. O’Brien quipped, “make WarnerMedia your seventh streaming service.”


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