John Stankey, formerly Warner Media’s casual, open-collared Joe Cool and now AT&T’s new CEO, apparently is losing control of his multi-billion dollar behemoth.
His DirecTV acquisition continues to bleed customers, with no sign of a spinoff yet. And another subsidiary, whizz-bang CNN, led by Jeff “Mother” Zucker, continues to air televised Kamikaze attacks on the USS Orange Man Bad.
John Stankey’s AT&T is the amalgam of life products of three American titans: Alexander Graham Bell, Jack Warner, and Ted Turner. Imagine if those three were on the AT&T board today!
So John, what do you call it when Zucker’s buffoonery in vilifying teenager Nick Sandmann leads to the loss of a huge chunk of money because the kid sues and the network settles? Indiscipline.
As you know, Zucker is not a career newsman; he’s a misguided cheerleader with delusions of grandeur bent on attacking the president, no matter what the cost. Look at Zucker’s dismal ratings share, John. He’s costing AT&T money and engendering ire among the stockholders, who worry about share value and dividends. Not to mention egg on their faces.
So John, what do you call it when, after losing all that money to Nick the Teenager, Zucker allows Clintonite hack Joe Lockhart to open his big mouth on CNN and call Sandmann a “snot-nosed kid,” potentially opening another lawsuit? Indiscipline.
So John, what do you call it when CNN Sports lets basketball Coach Doc Rivers go on a non-sports diatribe? Especially when he has an AT&T logo right beside his head? Indiscipline. So John, what do you call it when you send ham-fisted CNN “reporter” Omar Jimenez into Kenosha, and into career self-immolation, to stand in front of a flaming neighborhood with the chyron font: “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING”? Indiscipline.
While Bell, Warner, and Turner on the AT&T board is fantasy, it will be interesting to see if future economists smile at the regeneration of AT&T in the 21st century, or if they shake their heads, thinking that John Stankey’s AT&T joined giants like Bethlehem Steel, Kodak, and Pan Am in epic failure because of, well, indiscipline.