Netflix Is Not a Threat: Time Warner CEO
"Netflix is competition, but it's reasonable competition," said Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." With its recent wave of original programming, he said that "it would take a while" before the company became a threat to his business.
"The strongest trends are in television, not just in the U.S. but around the world," he said. "It's a really good time to be in the media business as television goes on the Internet."
"Everything in television is robust," he said, pointing to increased subscribers, time spent viewing, and programming investment as drivers of quality.
On the publishing business, Bewkes said that the magazine properties were "holding up well" in the digital world. "There is tremendous resilience in the national magazine publishing business, but advertising demand is down a bit," he said.
Bewkes added that he'd "keep investigating" the possibility of removing the publishing business from the rest of the company, "but at this point we have not decided to do something like that."
"We are now focused on being the great storytelling company, whether in film or television," he said. "We feel very good about moving from our existing business model into the digital empowerment of our business."
On Wednesday, Time Warner posted higher fourth-quarter profit, beating Wall Street estimates, as growth in its cable networks offset declines in the film, TV entertainment, and publishing units.
Time Warner also said that it is raising its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to $0.2875 per share and that the board authorized a new $4 billion share repurchase program that started in January.