Bewkes Next in Line at Time Warner

Dec 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The issue of succession at Time Warner became clearer Wednesday after the company named Jeff Bewkes as president and chief operating officer and announced that Don Logan, chairman of Time Warner’s media and communications group, would retire at year-end.

The move firmly establishes Mr. Bewkes, who had been chairman of the entertainment and networks group, as the No. 2 to Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard Parsons, a position his latest employment contract essentially guaranteed should Mr. Logan follow through on long-speculated rumors that he is likely to retire soon. Terms of that contract specified that if Mr. Logan retired and Mr. Bewkes did not get the No. 2 position, he could leave the media giant with few hurdles.

For his part, Mr. Logan will not be leaving Time Warner entirely. Though he plans to spend more time in Birmingham, Ala., Mr. Logan, a 35-year veteran of the company, will become nonexecutive chairman of Time Warner Cable. The cable unit is in the process of acquiring Adelphia Communications and next year is expected to offer 16 percent of itself to the public.

Mr. Bewkes held his previous title since 2002, after being promoted from CEO of HBO, a position he held for seven years after serving as chief financial officer and then president.