Advertising Up for TV, Magazines: Time Warner CEO

Michelle Lodge
Jeffrey Bewkes

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told CNBC Wednesday that advertizing revenue for television is on the upswing.

“The lead growth is in television,” said Bewkes, speaking to CNBC at the NCTA convention in Los Angeles.

“So cable networks—with, I think, Turnernetworks is at the top of the heap—are looking at a very strong percentage increase versus ad sales last year.”

Bewkes said the media giant’s content business has been robust over the last couple of years.

Capitalizing on Content

“Last year,” he added, “Time Warner was the only cable company that had strong growth and earnings. This year, we just did a first quarter that was 60 percent earnings-per-share growth off of last year’s gains.”

The CEO said that magazine publishing, the company’s original business, and a beleaguered one for several years, is now pulling in advertising again, too. Bewkes sidestepped the question of whether Time Warner would sell off its magazine division, which has been the subject of speculation by the news media and analysts, by talking about the sector's strengths.

He said that his company’s publications are redefining themselves to suit online platforms. Its flagship publication, Time, is an App on the iPad. “If you look at Time magazine on an iPad, you’re going to see it come to life, including moving pictures,” he said. “You’ll see Sports Illustrated and People doing the same thing over the next few months.”

The CEO said for now he wasn’t concerned about regulation by the FCC, because it likely won’t take place until a few years from now, due in part to a court battle.

“Things are going very well for the content network businesses,” he concluded, “and competition is very vibrant.”