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Time Warner Shuts TNT Television Operations in Turkey

Turner Broadcasting System Inc., a unit of Time Warner Inc. (TWX), closed its TNT television operations in Turkey after failing to meet performance and growth targets.

The company provided no further details about the reasons for the closure in an e-mailed statement today. Turner will continue to run the Cartoon Network and the CNN Turk news channel and is looking for other opportunities in the country, it said. Turner said it’s committed to its relationship with Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding AS (DOHOL) in CNN Turk.

Time Warner, also owner of Hollywood’s Warner Bros. studios, is among foreign media companies that have invested in Turkey, along with News Corp. (NWSA) and Axel Springer AG. (SPR) Time Warner started the TNT channel in Turkey in 2008 as a network for premier films and relaunched it last year as a general entertainment channel, according to Turner’s website.

Spending on advertising in Turkey surged 20 percent last year to $2.4 billion, of which 57 percent was for television commercials, the Turkish Association of Advertising Agencies said in March. The market may grow 15 percent this year, the group said.

Time Warner is competing with Dubai-based buyout firm Abraaj Capital Ltd. to purchase the ATV news channel in Turkey, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said on May 30. Both companies placed binding bids, they said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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