Reports from several reliable sources claim that John Stankey, AT&T Entertainment Group CEO, might become the head of Time Warner. This will happen if the proposed $85 billion acquisition of the entertainment company by the satellite/internet/cable provider goes through without any interruptions.
In a recent report, the New York Post mentioned that an unnamed source that is very close to Stankey mentioned him as the “heir apparent” of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Furthermore, the source also highlighted that Stankey is going to become “a very important man in entertainment.”
However, the CEO of Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes has rebuked these speculations. In a recent investor and media call with the AT&T, Bewkes said that he would continue to stay with the company. Randall Stephenson also added that he needs someone like Bewkes around, as he didn’t have much experience on how to run an entertainment company.
Another major question emerged after AT&T announced their plan to purchase Time Warner is that what role Peter Chernin would play after the AT&T-Time Warner merger. According to sources, “They could put Peter in entertainment, and he reports to [the CEO], or Peter reports to John [Stankey,] or he continues to be a close advisor.”
The deal between the two companies still has to clear many rules and regulations in order to successfully complete the merger. However, many analysts, including Jennifer Fritzsche from Wells Fargo, have given AT&T a good chance of closing the deal, if FCC does not get involved in between them.
“Based on the current spread, the market seems to be pricing in only a 45% chance of this getting approved according to our risk/arb group. If the FCC is not involved, we think T has a very solid case to bring to the DoJ,” Fritzsche wrote. “If the FCC is involved, we still think T has a very solid case but the regulatory approval process and the politics of the review may be much more controversial and protracted.”
She further added that, “While we expect a DOJ to impose conditions as part of its review and approval of the deal, the DOJ blocking the merger outright would be somewhat precedent setting given that no vertical deal in the TMT space has been rejected by the DoJ. Since a new head of DoJ won’t be in place until early 2017, a YE2017 closing may be somewhat optimistic.”