Time Warner's un-mogul finds his media mojo

After abandoning successive media businesses, the CEO has embraced magazines with the hiring of Fareed Zakaria

By TheWrap Aug 23, 2010 1:15PM
The coup that brought Newsweek star Fareed Zakaria to arch-rival Time Magazine this month signals a shift at the top of Time Warner: Could CEO Jeff Bewkes, media’s most un-mogul-like mogul, have finally discovered his mojo?

With the wooing of his close buddy and fellow Yale trustee Zakaria, Bewkes is firmly embracing a media business — magazines — after years of jettisoning one media segment after another.


That comes on the heels of other Bewkes initiatives, from installing former NBC star Conan O’Brien in late night at TNT to a new “Marketing Initiative,” a cross-company task force charged with maximizing content, products and talent across Time Warner’s vast breadth.


That’s big change for a Balkanized conglomerate notorious for its warring media fiefdoms. The new spirit of harmony “absolutely represents a cultural shift” in the past 12 to 18 months, as Bewkes finished downsizing, said Mark D’Arcy, president and chief creative officer of Time Warner Global Media, who also heads the marketing initiative task force.


“It all stems from Jeff,” D’Arcy told TheWrap.


As was the bold recruiting of Zakaria, one of the most influential global affairs stars in all of media, whose name has been bandied as a future secretary of state.


"Jeff Bewkes is a friend, someone I've known for years,” Zakaria told The Wrap. “He is also one of the smartest businessmen I've ever met … He has a better sense of how to navigate the changing media landscape than anyone I've talked to about it." Read more


Related: The hedge fund ties that bind Bewkes, Zakaria


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