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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Is Jeff Bewkes Getting Time Warner's Groove Back?



(image via nymag)

Has Jeff Bewkes finally found his rhythm? Jon Friedman of MarketWatch wrote, perceptively, this morning, "(Bewkes) gives Time Warner a can-do attitude that it has lacked for a decade." Agreed. Time Warner's record quarterly profit today is leading to what can only be properly construed as some cocky talk from their technocrat CEO Jeff Bewkes. Staci D. Kramer of Paidcontent today Tweeted: "Bewkes boasts between Conan, George Lopez & Adult Swim Turner 'will essentially own late night' comedy." Is that swagger we see in Time Warner's footsteps? It's been a while.

The pendulum swings. Conan's buzzy -- whether you agreed with it or not -- appearance on CBS' "60 Minutes (a network Time Warner might be doing business with)" was the #8 most-watched program in television last week. All in all not a bad week for Time Warner's present and future prospects.

There is, to be sure, a reason for this Bewkian cockiness. On top of all the previously mentioned good news, "Boondocks," which did not get a lot of hype from Time Warner's AdultSwim, proved to be yet another pleasant surprise. From Medialifemagazine:

It seems young adults really do prefer to keep up with politics through satire, and it goes beyond Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report."

That became clear with the return Sunday night of "The Boondocks" on Adults Swim.

The edgy cartoon, returning from a more than two-year layoff, posted its best-ever numbers among adults 18-34 and 18-49 and men 18-24 with a biting mock documentary on the election of President Barack Obama.

"Boondocks," airing in the 11:30 p.m. Sunday slot, drew 1.58 million 18-49s, more than double the timeslot average the same night last year. It was up 64 percent in 18-34s, to 1.26 million, and 102 percent in men 18-24, to 498,000.

The third-season premiere also earned its best total viewers numbers, 2.55 million, since the series' first season in 2006.


And starting January 2011, AdultSwim will add another hour to its increasingly aggressive late night fight. Further, AdultSwim.com's website is benefiting from the lagniappe: "(The episode) inspired five of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter Sunday, and through yesterday it had been streamed more than 200,000 times on AdultSwim.com."

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