Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Time Warner Loses Its Chief Talker

Nothing against PR folks (many of whom I like quite a bit!), but I don’t tend to write about them getting new jobs or leaving old ones. This is a rare exception: Ed Adler, who has been the chief public relations guy at Time Warner (TWX) since forever, is stepping down.

No replacement has been named, and if Adler has a new gig, he hasn’t announced it yet.

Adler is the kind of old-school big-media gatekeeper/messenger you see less and less of these days, simply because there’s more flux among old-school big-media companies.

Beyond that, he’s of note among us media types for a couple of reasons:

  • He is a long, longtime veteran of what used to be described as the world’s biggest media company. He moved into the top PR slot there in 1997, which means he was there for all of Time Warner’s last couple decades of ups (AOL) and downs (AOL), as well as three CEOs: Gerald Levin, Richard Parsons, and now, Jeff Bewkes.
  • He also used to be one of us: Many moons ago, Adler was a reporter at Time magazine, before he wised up and got out.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald