Jeff Bewkes at NCTA: Capitalizing on Content
Here at the National Cable Show it's not just cable carriers — content companies are also here, discussing new ways to grow viewers (and ad revenue) and rolling out new technology to keep subscribers hooked.
I sat down with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes in an exclusive interview on Power Lunch.
Time Warner owns a number of cable channels, from Turner's networks to HBO, but until last year's spin-off, it also owned Time Warner Cable . I asked Bewkes if the company's better off without that stake in a cable carrier, especially considering how much cable stocks have gained in the past year. Bewkes is sticking with his plan to focus entirely on content, saying that things have worked out pretty well — earnings per share up 60 percent from last year's gains.
Bewkes is optimistic going into the advertising Upfronts, saying he expects "very strong percentage increases versus ad sales last year."
He's also upbeat about ad increases at the Time Inc. Magazine division, which has been struggling with declining subscribers and ad revenue.
He wouldn't go as far as to say that the iPad and other eReaders will save the magazine industry, but he came pretty close. Bewkes pointed out that readership for magazines is up, not down, and that it's the format that's changing.
When I asked Bewkes his opinion on FCC regulation he said it's too soon to say what will happen and will be years before anything's resolved. He quickly changed the subject to the vibrant cooperation between content creation and distribution companies, which I take as a sign that he doesn't want any regulation to hamper that booming business. Today Time Warner announced it's partnering with Verizon , putting Turner channels online, on demand for FIOS customers.
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