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Senior Turner Broadcasting exec Shirley Powell leaving

December 18, 2009 | 11:14 am

Turner Broadcasting's chief corporate communications officer, Shirley Powell, is leaving the Time Warner unit early next year.

POWELL Powell, 43, has held senior positions at NBC under Scott Sassa and Walt Disney Co. under Anne Sweeney and has spent the last eight years at Turner, one of the most profitable of Time Warner's holdings. She headed up media relations for its corporate offices in Atlanta and also had oversight of the marketing and media operations of its various cable networks, including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and CNN.

Most corporate communications people spend their time trying to get ink for their bosses; One of Powell's main missions was to keep Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent out of the press. Kent, who is well regarded at Time Warner and whose name pops up now and again for more high-profile roles within the media giant, is something of a recluse when it comes to the media.

In an internal memo, Turner executive vice president Kelly Regal described Powell as a "trusted adviser and partner to Phil Kent." While Powell worked closely with Kent, she actually reported to Regal, who oversees human resources and will now take over Powell's direct reports. At other units in Time Warner and elsewhere in media, communications officers typically report to their CEOs.

"It was the right time in my life to make this decision," Powell said.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Shirley Powell. Credit: Turner Broadcasting