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- WarnerMedia American media and entertainment conglomerate
WarnerMedia American media and entertainment conglomerate
Knowledge Basic Info
WarnerMedia, formerly Time Warner Inc. (1990–2001; 2009–18) and AOL Time Warner (2001–09), one of the largest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. It was founded as Time Warner following the merger of Warner Communications and Time Inc. in 1990, and after becoming a subsidiary of AT&T in 2018, it was renamed WarnerMedia. It consists of three major divisions: Home Box Office Inc. (HBO), Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Its products primarily encompass motion pictures and broadcast and cable television programming and distribution. Several former divisions in magazines, hardcover books, comic books, recorded music, and online services, including AOL, Time Warner Cable, and Warner Books, were spun off as independent companies or sold to investors in the early 21st century. WarnerMedia’s headquarters are in New York City.
Warner The initial film company was incorporated in 1923 in Los Angeles as Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc., by Polish immigrant brothers Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner, who had started out with a nickelodeon in Newcastle, Pennsylvania, in 1903. In 1927 Warner Brothers introduced music and dialog with the first “talkie” motion picture, The Jazz Singer. The company was one of the leading Hollywood studios throughout the 1930s and ’40s, with a stable of actors that included Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Edward G. Robinson.
During the 1950s Warner Brothers, like other movie producers, faced growing competition from television. In 1956 it was forced to sell its film assets made prior to 1950 to Associated Artists. (Ironically, the rights to the material were ultimately returned to the company after they were sold in 1986 to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn merged with Time Warner Inc. in 1996.) Television also presented new opportunities for Warner Brothers, where the hit series Maverick (1957) and 77 Sunset Strip (1958) were made. In 1967 Jack Warner sold his remaining stake in the company to Seven Arts Productions. Two years later Warner Bros.–Seven Arts, Inc., was bought by Kinney National Services, Inc., and became part of the newly named Warner Communications Inc. (WCI).
Kinney started business as a funeral home company in New Jersey, diversifying into parking lots and construction businesses in the New York City area. Steve Ross, who started with Kinney after marrying the owner’s daughter, was co-chief executive officer (CEO) from 1969 to 1972, when he became the sole CEO, president, and chairman of WCI. Ross embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy, picking up electronic game maker Atari, children’s toy maker Knickerbocker Toy, the family recreation company Malibu Grand Prix, the New York Cosmos football (soccer) team, and heirloom maker The Franklin Mint.