trutv_logo110830153427“We are not satisfied with the recent ratings and advertising performance at some of the Turner networks,” the Time Warner chief told analysts this morning. There’s been a “significant drop off” at truTV. And at TNT “we didn’t take enough creative risks with its programming” and “lost ground with younger viewers….TNT-logo__120721000844__121002154527TNT has been softer than it should have been.” But Jeff Bewkes is ever the optimist: He has “great confidence in truTV” following management changes there. He also vows that TNT “can and will do better” with new programming. “These types of changes take time” but as a large network “TNT has access to all the resources it needs.” 

In other news from the call: Time Warner told the Street that cash from HBO’s new streaming deal with Amazon Prime will be used to develop more original programming and to build HBO GO. As a result, while it will contribute to HBO’s Q2 revenues in 2014 and over the next few years, it won’t result in a commensurate increase in profits.

Bewkes also says that Time Warner is talking with Dish Network about its plan to create a low-cost package of pay TV channels to be made available online to individual users. “It could allow us and them to target consumers who might not subscribe to multichannel TV” — especially young adults. But he adds that in these talks, as well as with others who want to create online pay TV services including Verizon and Sony, “there are a fair number of questions about the ad model, quality of service, and how this would affect investment in the plant” for high-quality TV. Put another way, he wants to be sure an online service doesn’t cannibalize his bread-and-butter: pay TV channels sold in the cable and satellite bundles.

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