AT&T was at a fork in the road when they purchased DirecTV. They tried to double down on wireless by purchasing T-Mobile, but that was a fiasco where that entire merger team and Randall should have been fired for.
Instead, Randall listened to Stankey. Uverse was a solid product but was struggling in negotiations with content providers. Uverse did not have the scale that DirecTV or Comcast had (subscriber numbers) to force ESPN or Turner or ... to give AT&T good prices. Stankey's vision was to get scale at any cost. His recommendation to Randall was DirecTV. There were others (namely Ralph De La Vega) that were against it. But Stankey won the argument. Randall bought DirecTV. It wasn't just that linear TV was at its peak. It was a double disaster because DirecTV technology has nothing in common with AT&T's landline or wireless networks. If AT&T had instead purchased Cox Cable, or Time Warner Cable, as strange as going back to coax cable for AT&T that would have been, it would have helped the broadband business. Instead we bought a satellite company and immediately announced plans not to send satellites up into orbit any longer.
That should have been clue number 2 that Randall and Stankey should have been fired. They destroyed the one thing that DirecTV had going for it, great service. Whether coverage or customer service that did all they could to help customers.
Instead the board allowed Randall to go forward with Stankey's vision of being Amazon. The vision behind Time Warner purchase was we are to going to create an eco-system. Where we make money based on advertising with our network, distribution and content as great as Amazon. Companies would bang on our doors because who doesn't want to advertise for a company that can broadcast GOT.
It is mind boggling how McFfresh is trying to take us back to square 1. (minus the crazy video product and Time Warner). Data and wireless should have been the plan from the get go. That was Ralph De La Vega's vision. Remember, McFresh was mentored by Ralph. The only way this company can get back to business, is sell DirecTV, and spin off TimeWarner as a separate entity.