Time Warner CFO John Martin to Replace Phil Kent as CEO of Turner Broadcasting in January

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Phil Kent, current head of Turner Broadcasting

UPDATED: Kent will step down as chairman of the TV networks unit in 2014.

Time Warner said Wednesday that CFO John Martin will become CEO of Turner Broadcasting in January.

Current CEO Phil Kent will serve as chairman of the TV networks unit as of the start of next year and step down after a transition period in 2014. He has been in his current posts since February 2003.

The Turner networks include CNN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Cartoon Network.

Said Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes: “Phil Kent’s exceptional leadership at Turner has driven much of Time Warner’s recent success. For the past decade, he has expertly guided the Turner networks through a period of rapid change, all the while building on each network’s leading position with viewers and advertisers and forging stronger relationships with distributors. At Phil’s initiation, he and I agreed that now is the right time to announce the next generation of leadership, and I am pleased that he will serve as chairman.”

About Martin, Bewkes said: “John is one of the most capable and strategically minded executives I know. As CFO, he led the design and implementation of our financial strategy that has helped Time Warner deliver superior shareholder returns. But he is also a broad and thoughtful business thinker whose inclusive management style and focus on driving the business forward will fit well with the Turner tradition.”

Kent said: "John has a thorough understanding of and respect for Turner’s position and significance in the Time Warner portfolio. He is highly regarded at Turner and will be a strong leader for our company.”

Before becoming Time Warner CFO in 2008, Martin was executive vp and CFO of Time Warner Cable since August 2005. He also is a former Wall Street analyst.

Said Martin: “I’m the beneficiary of Phil’s exemplary leadership, and it will be a privilege to work with Phil and all the dedicated and talented people at Turner. The company is home to some of the best brands in media and is known for its innovative culture and focus on delivering programming that audiences love and count on. I look forward to working more closely with everyone at Turner to create more opportunities for consumers, advertisers and our distribution partners.”

Time Warner plans to name Martin’s successor in the coming weeks.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai