Industry Sector, Culture & Creative, Fellowship Type, Sector based Fellowships | June 2017

Lord Watts Tunes in to Turner

Lord Watts visited Turner on Tuesday 27 June as part of his Industry and Parliament (IPT) Fellowship* exploring the culture and creative industries. The visit continues Lord Watts’ Fellowship programme examining the ways in which innovative ideas are created and developed as well as the potential impact of Brexit on international creative companies based in the UK.

Turner, a Time Warner company, has a portfolio of news, entertainment, kids and young adult and sports networks and businesses. Globally Turner operates brands including CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM, as well as country- and region-specific networks and businesses in Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), Latin America and Asia Pacific. Its UK portfolio of brands consists of CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoonito and Bleacher Report.

During his visit, Lord Watts was welcomed by Giorgio Stock, President of Turner EMEA, who gave him an overview of Turner EMEA’s rapidly evolving channels and content businesses. He also met with Aksel Van der Wal, EVP of the recently established Digital Ventures and Innovation group, to hear how the company is innovating in the digital space to maintain existing audiences and build new ones, and with Ellie Browne, VP Legal Affairs & Regional Counsel for the Turner EMEA businesses across the region. 

The visit included an introduction to Turner’s animation business where Lord Watts spent time with Sarah Fell, Executive Producer of the BAFTA Award winning The Amazing World of Gumball, a global hit show for Cartoon Network which is produced in London. He also visited the CNN London newsroom, CNN’s largest bureau outside of the US, and saw first-hand how CNN is innovating with new technology including drones and virtual reality. 

Commenting on the visit Lord Watts said: 

“I was delighted to visit Turner today. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight it provided into how a major international media company like Turner is investing in the UK and innovating with existing and new services, such as VR. It was also very helpful to gain a better understanding at first hand of potential issues arising from Brexit for the creative sector, in  particular for international companies like Turner. I would like to thank the Industry and Parliament Trust and Turner for taking the time to organise such an interesting visit.”

Giorgio Stock, President of Turner EMEA, added:

“It was a real pleasure to welcome Lord Watts to Turner.  We hope the visit provided him with clear insight into the significant changes taking place in our industry and the way we are innovating to address new audiences. It has been great to coordinate with the Industry and Parliament Trust to play a small part in helping to improve parliamentarians’ understanding of the creative sector.”


Notes to Editors

*IPT Fellowships are educational, non-lobbying attachments for parliamentarians, providing a unique perspective of the challenges and issues facing UK industry. Fellowships can take place in a range of organisations, from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs and voluntary organisations.

About Turner
From its European operation in central London, Turner manages several world-leading media brands, including 24-hour news channel CNN International; kids portfolio Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Toonami and Cartoonito; and general entertainment channels TCM and TNT via cable & satellite TV, online, mobile, OTT and other platforms. CNN’s London news bureau is its largest outside the US with over 200 staff and operates as a major deployment centre for correspondents across Europe and the rest of the world, as well as a production, broadcasting, digital and commercial hub. The multi-award winning The Amazing World of Gumball animation series is also produced in London for Cartoon Network and Turner digital sports brand Bleacher Report also has a London presence.