Hollywood Reporter: AT&T exec says CNN is not for sale

CNN New York offices. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This was posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Batting away rumors, AT&T Entertainment Group chief John Stankey told the Hollywood Reporter that CNN will not be sold or spun off after the company acquires Time Warner.

CNN, which is technically based in Atlanta but whose primary decision makers and on-air talent are now in New York, is a major profit center for the Turner portion of Time Warner. “It would be a strategically missed opportunity if we weren’t in that business,” Stankey said.

Stankey, who has been with A&T for 30 years, was recently tasked with overseeing Time Warner’s assets once AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition gets federal approval.

Deadline.com recently said CBS has been eyeing CNN for a long time. The publication also said TMZ might be on the block. (Stankey told HR that he wasn’t that familiar with that property.)

CNN has 1,500 employees in Atlanta, 3,500 in total. Although its prime-time ratings now lag behind both Fox News and MSNBC, the organization is in line to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year.

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