Shortly after Turner Broadcasting head Jamie Kellner resigned, newly appointed TBS chairman/CEO Philip I. Kent announced March 11, 2003 AOL Time Warner is restructuring the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s network businesses to create three broader, integrated operating units Cartoon, Entertainment and News - with direct oversight for their respective programming, marketing, advertising sales and other business functions. Key executives have been reassigned immediately to new management positions.
Mark Lazarus, formerly president of Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing and president of Turner Sports, will head the integrated Entertainment unit, as president of Turner Entertainment Group, which includes TBS Superstation, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, Turner South; Turner Sports; and Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing. CNN News Group President Jim Walton will continue to oversee the company's wide-ranging CNN businesses, as well as a new CNN global advertising sales group. The head of the newly integrated Cartoon unit, with combined oversight of network and sales operations, will be named in the coming weeks. All report directly to Kent. Certain corporate functions will continue to work across all of the networks, including Turner Network Sales, the company's sales and distribution unit led by president Andy Heller, and corporate services units including legal, human resources, finance, communications, operations & strategy and others. As president of Turner Entertainment Group Sales and Marketing, Lazarus was responsible for all advertising sales of TBS Superstation, WTBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner South. For Turner Sports, he oversaw all sports acquisitions, programming and production for the networks - the only television sports executive with oversight of an integrated sales, marketing, programming and production division. He led Turner Broadcasting's acquisition of the cable rights to the NBA, NASCAR, Wimbledon and the British Open, as well as the Internet rights to NASCAR.com and PGA.com. Lazarus joined Turner Broadcasting Sales in 1990 as an account executive.
With Lazarus' promotion, David R. Levy, formerly co-president of TBS International, assumes larger responsibilities as president of Entertainment Sales and Marketing and Turner Sports, reporting to Lazarus. Andy Bird, the other former co-president of TBS International, now has sole oversight of the unit. Levy oversaw TBS, Inc.'s wide-ranging cable network business activities in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including sales and marketing and distribution; programming and interactive business development; and joint partnerships and business alliances outside the United States. Previously, he served as the first president of International Advertising Sales for TBS International, managing the global advertising sales of CNN International, CNN en Espanol, CNNfn, CNN/Sports Illustrated and TNT and Cartoon Network in Latin America, Europe and Asia. As president of Latin America, his duties also included network development, programming and promotion. Levy began his career at Turner Broadcasting in 1986 as an account executive in the entertainment division.
Walton, who was named president of the CNN News Group earlier this year, oversees all editorial and financial operations of the company's 33 news networks and services. With the realignment of the News unit, he adds oversight of the new CNN global advertising sales group, headed by Larry Goodman, president of CNN Sales and Marketing, who reports to Walton.
"By formalizing some key working relationships among people and groups," said Kent in a release, "we are creating a more logical, less layered structure that will empower our people and make us even more responsive to our customers and other constituents. As these changes are internally focused, the results will be absolutely transparent to the viewers of our networks."