THE BLOG
05/13/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dream a Little Dream of Me

This is another "whine" on my part concerning the pernicious nature of the consolidated media in the United States.

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner CEO is undoubtedly a decent person, yet his company's relentless pursuit of increased profitability and growth manages to stifle what I would call true freedom of expression in our country. Time Warner along with Disney, General Electric, CBS, and Fox control so many media outlets.

Where are the Feds? If you find out please let me know.

I am, and have since 1960 been an entertainment industry "operating" executive.

When I started in "the media" businesses were simple. If Columbia Pictures made successful movies there was dancing in the streets, and the corporate execs took huge bonuses while pretending that the movies that worked and made lots of money were somehow something that they had created.

Fifty years later the really big guys have become even bigger and the senior guys who make huge amounts of money act as though their companies' profitability was somehow the result of their efforts.

Little if anything has changed.

In order to grow, these really big guys need to find new companies to buy or merge with as well as new and creative ways to put their hands into the pockets of the American media consumers aided and abetted by our Congress as well as those who we euphemistically refer to as "the regulators."

Media consolidation is both horizontal and vertical.

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner CEO says that he agrees that broadcast networks should be paid by distributors (cable and satellite operators) for their content and why he believes his company isn't under threat from new technologies.

I find that there is a hint of "noblesse oblige" in his statements, but I expect that it is all part of my own paranoia in thinking that Bewkes comments somehow are based on "if it's good for Time Warner it is good for America,"

Bewkes went on to say at the annual Credit Suisse Global Media & Communications Convergence Conference in Palm Beach, Florida that "the networks are going to try very hard to get some kind of a material retransmission payment and they'll succeed to a certain extent. We are a very interested party with strong relationships selling series to broadcast networks... We have a very big business, we sell to all four networks, and their ability to continue that profitable business is good for Warner Bros. and good on the Turner side since a significant staple of those properties is the acquired series that we produce. Having this ecosystem will help TNT and TBS."

Here goes that ecosystem business again. Ecosystem: a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.

"... community of organisms..." Now what do you suppose he means by that?

I wonder if Bewkes would make the same speech before the FCC or the anti-trust people.

After you have reviewed the Columbia Journalism Review version of "what they own," ask yourself if you were the President of the United States or an elected official would you pick a fight with these guys?

They continue to look to "the system" to allow them as I said earlier to "put their hands deeper into the pockets of society" if they possibly can and after all, isn't that the "American Way."

Poor Time Warner. I expect that this is what Bewkes could have meant by that innocuous word "ecosystems."

Warner Brothers produces the world's best movie that they call The World's Best Movie, (TWBM) that is shot at the Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank.

TWBM is released through Warner Brother's Theatrical Distribution Company.

TWBM is released Internationally through Warner Bros. International Distribution Company and is seen in Warner Brothers Theaters among others.

TWBM DVD sales are handled worldwide by Warner Brothers Home Video Company.

TWBM is very conveniently can be sold to the Warner Brother's owned Pay Television Service HBO.

TWBM can be sold by the Warner Brothers Television Distribution Company to the Warner Brothers owned TNT and TBS cable services.

TWBM is sold into worldwide syndication by Warner Brothers International Television.

TWBM can be sold by Warner Brothers to The Warner Brothers Channel (Latin America, Asia - Pacific, Australia, Germany)

News and promotion about TWBM can be carried by the Warner Brother's owned CNN Networks.

And so on and so forth as TWBM slides through the ecosystem that is Time Warner.

There is much much more but enough already!

While this list is a year and a half old and there certainly have been changes, but please consider the limited opportunities for the process of independent film makers to "get into the system."

As Americans, we all should be very proud of this "engulf and devour process."

My cynical business mantra is " What's the use of having power of you don't abuse it?"

Does Time Warner abuse their power? Probably they at times do.

The bad news is however is that they can!

Here is what THEY owned as of eighteen months ago.

HBO, Cinemax, HBO Video, HBO Independent Productions
HBO OnDemand International, HBO Mobile International Adult Swim, Boomerang
CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, CNN Headline News, CNN Headline News in Latin America, CNN Headline News in Asia Pacific
CNN Mobile, CNN+ CETV, CNN Newsource
CNN Pipeline, CNN To Go, CNN fn, CNN Radio
CNN Interactive, Court TV (with Liberty Media)
Time Warner Cable, Road Runner
New York 1 News (24 hour news channel devoted only to NYC,) Kablevision (53.75% - cable television in Hungary,) In Demand, Metro Sports (Kansas City)
Time Warner Inc. Film & TV Production/Distribution
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Studios
Warner Bros. Television (production)
The WB Television Network, Warner Bros. Television Animation, Hanna - Barbera Cartoons
Telepictures Production, The CW Television Network, Kids' WB! Castle Rock Entertainment
Warner Home Video, Warner Bros. Domestic Pay TV
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
The Warner Channel (Latin Amerca, Asia - Pacific, Australia, Germ.) Warner Bros. International Theaters (owns/operates multiplex theaters in over 12 countries)
Warner Bros. Online
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Technical Operations
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Studio Facilities

Time Warner Inc. - Magazines
Time, Time Asia, Time Atlantic
Time Canada, Time Latin America
Time South Pacific, Time Money
Time For Kids, Fortune, Fortune Asia
Fortune Europe, FSB: Fortune Small Business
All You, Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated International
SI for Kids. Money, People
Who Weekly (Australian edition)
People en Espa�ol
Teen People
Entertainment Weekly
In Style
Southern Living AT HOME
Southern Accents, Cooking Light
Cottage Living, This Old House
Sunset, Health, Hippocrates
Coastal Living, Real Simple
Wallpaper (U.K.) Bride To Be
English Woman's Weekly
Practical Parenting, Who
In Style Australia
25 Beautiful Homes
4x4, Aeroplane Monthly
Amateur Gardening
Amateur Photographer
Angler's Mail, Beautiful Kitchens
Cage and Aviary Birds
Caravan Magazine, Chat
Chat - It's Fate, Classic Boat
Country Homes and Interiors
Country Life, Cycle Sport
Cycling Weekly, Decanter
European Boat Builder
Eventing, Family Circle
Guitar, Hair, Hi Fi News
Homes and Gardens, Horse
Horse and Hound, Ideal Style
In Style (U.K.)
International Boat Industry
Land Rover World, Livingetc
Loaded, Mountain Bike Rider
MiniWorld, Model Collector
Motor Boat and Yachting
Motor Boats Monthly
Motor Caravan Magazine
NME, Now, Nuts
Park Home & Holiday Caravan
Pick Me Up
Practical Boat Owner
Prediction, Racecar Engineering
Rugby World, Ships Monthly
Shoot Monthly, Soaplife
Sporting Gun, Stamp Magazine
SuperBike Magazine
The Field
The Railway Magazine
The Shooting Gazette
TV & Satellite Week
TV Easy, TVTimes, Uncut
VolksWorld, Web User
Wedding, What Digital Camera
What's on TV, Woman
Woman & Home, Woman's Own
Woman's Weekly, Yachting World
Your Yacht, Ambientes, Audi Magazine
Balance, Chilango, EXP, Expansion
IDC, Life and Style, Manufactura
Obras, Quien, Vuelo, Yachts
In Style Mexico

Magazines listed under Warner Brother's label
DC Comics, Vertigo, Wildstorm
Mad Magazine

Online Services
CompuServe Interactive Services
AOL Instant Messenger
ADTECH, Advertising.com
AOL.com portal, Digital City
AOL Europe, GameDaily.com
Lightningcast, ICQ
The Knot, Inc. - wedding content (8 % with QVC 36% and Hummer
WinbladFunds18%), MapQuest.com
Spinner.com, Relegence,TACODA
Third Screen Media, Truveo
Userplane, Weblogs, Inc.
Winamp, Xdrive
CNNStudentNews.com
NASCAR.com, PGA.com

Time Warner - Online/Other Publishing
Road Runner
Warner Publisher Services
Time Distribution Services
American Family Publishers (50%)
Africana.com

Time Warner - Merchandise/Retail

Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Theme Parks

Warner Brothers Recreation Enterprises (owns/operates international theme parks)

Time Warner Inc. - Turner Entertainment

Entertainment Networks
TBS Superstation
Turner Network Television (TNT)
Turner South, Turner Classic Movies
Cartoon Network in Europe
Cartoon Network in Latin America
TNT & Cartoon Network in Asia/Pacific
TNT Latin America
TNT HD, TCM Asia Pacific
TCM Canada, TCM Europe
TCM Classic Hollywood in Latin America
Adult Swim, Boomerang, CETV
GameTap, TBS. Pogo, Toonami
TrueTV, Peachtree TV

Film Production
New Line Cinema, Fine Line Features
Picturehouse, Turner Original Productions

Sports
Atlanta Braves

Other Operations
Turner Learning
CNN Newsroom (daily news program for classrooms)
Turner Adventure Learning (electronic field trips for schools)
Turner Home Satellite
Turner Network Sales

Other
Netscape Communications
Netscape Netcenter portal
AOL MovieFone
iAmaze
Amazon.com (partial)
Quack.com
Streetmail (partial)
Switchboard (6%)
Advantages
European Magazines Limited

ENOUGH ALREADY?