Sunday, August 10, 2008

Time-Warner about to get it wrong again?

An extensive article discusses possible plans by Time-Warner, the behemoth that owns DC Comics as well as Batman - according to this article "Holy Cash Cow, Batman! Content Is Back," By TIM ARANGO, New York Times August 10, 2008, they're suddenly convinced that owning content and not distribution systems is the way to make money.

The article, and perhaps the chief executive, seem to miss the point. First we read:

For now, Mr. Bewkes is staking the company’s future on three big content providers: Warner Brothers, Turner Broadcasting (which includes TNT, TBS and CNN) and HBO. To ramp things up on the entertainment front, he’s also been overseeing internal discussions about acquisitions in film and television — including a possible takeover of NBC Universal, should its parent, General Electric, decide to sell, according to executives and bankers who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the discussions.

and then this follows:

It is less clear how the Time Inc. unit, which publishes magazines like Time, People, In Style, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, meshes with Mr. Bewkes’s strategy. According to Time Warner insiders, the company is likely to shrink the publishing unit to just a handful of the most profitable titles. Some analysts predict that Time Warner might try to sell the publishing unit en masse, but only if market conditions improve.

I'm not sure what that means for DC Comics, but I think it's worth noting that Warner Bros. wouldn't have had Batman to make a movie about if it wasn't for the comic book company. They've already sold Warner Books, presumably another source of content and one that is doing graphic novels now.

Pay me a few million dollars and I'll come up with some good ideas like making cable companies profitable by providing good service and shows people want to see.

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