• Filmed entertainment. This unit doesn't need immediate attention. It continues to rake in cash from blockbusters, including the Harry Potter films and recent hits including 300, and has films coming, such as the much-awaited movie based on HBO's Sex and the City. Sales of TV reruns, including ER, also have been strong.
But Bewkes can't afford to ignore it completely.
Now that its successful Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is complete, and the end of the Potter series can be seen, "What would be helpful would be the development of a new, strong franchise," says UBS analyst Michael Morris. "We haven't seen something with that level of cachet to emerge."
The company's historically strong TV production business also could use a jolt. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are filling more time with their own shows, making Warner Bros. more dependent on the CW network, its joint venture with CBS.
• Cable networks. Here, too, Bewkes doesn't have to answer alarm bells. His portfolio of channels — including HBO, TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network and CourtTV (soon to be truTV) — have been solid performers with viewers and advertisers.
But they may need more care and feeding than before as competition intensifies. More than 160 channels, as well as video on demand and Internet services, now vie for viewers' time, and that could put pressure on networks to boost spending for programming and promotion.
Contributing: Laura Petrecca