This was posted by Rodney Ho on AJC’s Radio & TV Talk blog on Friday, October 21, 2016
Atlanta’s Turner properties – including CNN, HLN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network – were subsumed by Time Warner almost exactly two decades ago.
Now Dallas-based AT&T – which owns DirecTV and U-Verse and is the country’s No. 2 wireless provider – has agreed to pay about $85 billion for Time Warner, Reuters said.
21st Century Fox, owner of Fox Network and Fox News, tried to buy up Time Warner two years ago but its offer was rejected.
Time Warner, which also owns HBO and the Warner Brothers TV and film studios, has already spun off its cable and print operations.
AT&T Mobility is based in Atlanta. Turner is still technically based here but most of its corporate decision-makers are now based in New York. A little under half of Turner’s employees – about 6,000 – are still based in Atlanta. It’s clearly too early to see what impact this will have on Turner’s future in Atlanta and its place in the Time Warner/AT&T universe.
The fact AT&T is buying Time Warner shows that those who have control of the broadband and wireless world are seeking power over the companies making the content. Cable and satellite services are losing hold of households. Only 81 percent pay for cable or satellite services, down from 88 percent in 2010. More and more people are instead using monthly streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and “skinny” bundles that don’t require $100 a month subscriptions anymore.