The idea to start a new network really came to me after a visit to Fox [Broadcasting Co.] on my way to New York. I went up to the third floor to say hello to some friends there and I learned that a bunch of people were leaving, and a bunch of other people who were staying were not very happy.
I said to myself, `If all these people who just started a network are available, that would be an enormous leg up to start another one.’
I picked up the phone and called Barry Meyer [then executive VP and chief operating officer of Warner Bros., now chairman and CEO], and it all started that way, driving from Fox down to the airport. I said, `These people just got a network up and running, and they know what they’re doing. We could do it a lot faster and without as much investment [because we wouldn’t make as many missteps].’
It’s never an easy road when you’re in that competitive world. You go at it expecting well-entrenched competition who’ll do everything they can to keep you down. You have to get the distribution, the product, the advertising support; you have to succeed on all fronts or you can’t succeed on any. But everyone worked hard, and I’m glad to say things turned out pretty well. n
Mr. Kellner founded The WB in 1993 with Warner Bros. and the Tribune Co.