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Changes afoot for HBO under AT&T’s new reign

Winter is coming for HBO.

Only instead of an army of the undead, it’s corporate bean-counters seeking more “engagement.”

The premium cable network known for hits such as “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” is going to face “a tough year” ahead as it changes direction under AT&T Inc. T, +0.25% , its new corporate owner, according to a New York Times report Sunday.

Last month, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion. The Times said John Stankey, a longtime AT&T executive who has taken over Warner Media, which runs HBO, recently told a town-hall gathering of HBO employees that change is needed, and AT&T does not intend on being a passive owner.

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