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Time Warner extends Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes' contract through 2020

Time Warner Inc. has extended Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes' employment for three years, through 2020.

"Since becoming CEO, Jeff has transformed the company to focus on video content, capitalized on the combined strength of Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. and delivered consistently strong operating and financial performance," Time Warner's lead independent director, Steve Bollenbach, said Thursday in a statement announcing the extension.

Bewkes had been working under a five-year deal that ended in 2017.

The extension recognizes Bewkes' efforts to focus the media company on film and TV content and its distribution on emerging platforms such as online streaming.  In 2015, Time Warner's HBO unit launched an "over the top" streaming service for the first time making the premium channel's programs available to consumers without a cable subscription. The move is considered a potential game-changer in the new TV landscape where viewers have more choice and control over how they watch.

Time Warner noted that its stock has gone up 162% since Bewkes, 63, was named chairman and CEO in 2009. On Thursday, when the Dow Jones average was battered, Time Warner stock closed at $70.25 a share, up $1.63 on the trading day.

The company said Bewkes' compensation will not change in the new agreement. Based on a base salary, annual bonus and long-term stock incentives, he earned $32.9 million in 2014.

Before joining the corporate management team at Time Warner in 2002, Bewkes served as chairman and CEO of HBO from 1995 to 2002.

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