Turner Entertainment Prez Leaves The Building

0115lazaruss.jpgTurner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus is out at Turner. Official line from TBS CEO Philip Kent is that “[f]or some time now, Mark and I have been talking about the future structure of the company. In the new structure that I have decided upon, there was not a role of scale that Mark was interested in.”

Decipher the corporatese there and in the following e-mail release FishbowlNY obtained for yourself. Parse it, examine it for your own take. We’re just going to say this: It’s going to mean major business changes for everyone in media who works with Turner, TNT, TBS, CourtTV/truTV, CNN, superdeluxe.com and all the other manifold Turner Entertainment properties. Here in New York, that means a lot of people.

E-mail after the jump.


January 15, 2008

To: Colleagues
From: Phil Kent

I have some news to share with you about a career decision of one of our leaders and colleagues. Mark Lazarus is leaving his post as president of Turner Entertainment Group. For some time now, Mark and I have been talking about the future structure of the company. In the new structure that I have decided upon, there was not a role of scale that Mark was interested in. There are a great many options available to someone with Mark’s accomplishments and reputation. With the business units he oversees strong, growing and well-positioned to absorb this change, Mark will leave the company in the coming weeks. Information on how this change impacts structures and reporting lines will follow.

From the exponential growth of our networks and businesses in the ’90s to recalibrating for a new media environment and staking our claim in the Digital Age, Mark has been a key contributor to and a constant in our company’s success. He joined Turner Broadcasting Sales in 1990 as an account executive representing our sports properties and rose through the ranks to head sports sales. As president of Turner Sports, he forged professional and personal relationships with the NBA, NASCAR and the PGA that were invaluable in our groundbreaking acquisition of the cable programming rights that positioned our networks as first-tier sports providers. Mark added responsibility as president of Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing before being named president of Turner Entertainment Group in early 2003.

Since then, he has played a key strategy and leadership role in the re-branding of TNT and TBS; the acquisition of Court TV and its re-branding as truTV; the development and launches of Super Deluxe and Peachtree TV; content agreements with the leagues; and the ongoing development of the Atlanta Techwood campus. I have turned to Mark for counsel on matters across our company, our industry and our community.

Mark’s enduring contribution to our company is undoubtedly the stability and success of the networks and businesses under his leadership. He is an important part of the Turner Broadcasting story and we wish him continued success.

(Image via NBA.com)