Time Warner CEO Jokes About Merger With St. Jude Medical After Earnings Call Tech Issues

Francois G. Durand/Getty Images
Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes

"Catheters are up," quips Jeff Bewkes after a snafu at the start of the entertainment giant's call.

Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes shrugged off technical difficulties at the start of the entertainment conglomerate's earnings conference call on Wednesday.

After the Game of Thrones theme music played while analysts and others were on hold waiting, the call started with audio from the earnings call of another company accidentally playing instead. Bewkes revealed that the other company was St. Jude Medical, a provider of medical devices.

"[Do] we have a line?," Bewkes was eventually heard asking before joking that the company was holding the call to announce "our merger with St. Jude Medical," which drew laughs from fellow Time Warner brass on the call. Bewkes continued, quipping: "Catheters are up."

When he started his prepared remarks, the CEO thanked callers for staying on the line "through our medical report at the beginning."

He started out by reiterating that 2016 would be "another standout year" for Time Warner. "In recent years ... we have been investing aggressively in the very best content, while moving quickly to take advantage of new distribution opportunities" and continuing cost controls. "We anticipate that that combination will allow us to continue to deliver industry-leading performance." 

Bewkes argued that this was the case in the first quarter. His comments came after the company behind Warner Bros., HBO and Turner reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and reiterated its full-year 2016 earnings outlook.

The company's first-quarter earnings rose 25 percent to $1.21 billion, while earnings from continuing operations of $1.20 billion compared with $933 million in the year-ago period.