– by Anthony Esteves

“It’s going to be a tough year. It’s going to be a lot of work to alter and change direction a little bit.”

These were the words of John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive who is now in charge of HBO as the chief executive of Warner Media. With all of the properties that were once under Time Warner now under the AT&T umbrella, HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler hosted a town hall meeting between Stankey and HBO’s employees inside the company’s theater on the 15th floor on June 19th, as reported by The New York Times.

Stankey’s primary point was that HBO needs to become more of a streaming giant in order to survive in the future, referencing the dominance of Netflix without actually mentioning the company’s name.

“We need hours a day. It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”

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Up until this moment, HBO has prided itself on being a “quality over quantity” network, garnering more Primetime Emmy Awards than its competitions in the past 16 years. Plepler has conjured the magic to lure A-List producers and directors as well as talents like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams to its productions. With that said, Plepler admits that a change will be needed.

“I’ve said, ‘More is not better, only better is better,’ because that was the hand we had. I’ve switched that, now that you’re here, to: ‘More isn’t better, only better is better — but we need a lot more to be even better.’”

Time will tell if AT&T’s new tactics will help HBO take on Netflix while keeping up its dedication to quality entertainment.

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Source: The New York Times.