WarnerMedia plans to sell the historic CNN Center in downtown Atlanta – the building attacked last month during a wave of protests – as parent company AT&T seeks to lose assets to help reduce its massive debt.
The plans to unload the property following the AT & T-Time Warner merger had been put on hold but resurfaced on Monday in a note to CNN staff. It is a time of new owners and real estate changes in the media world, ViacomCBS also being on the market to sell the legendary CBS Black Rock building in New York.
“We are consolidating our WarnerMedia Atlanta operations at our newly renovated and redesigned Techwood campus. This will increase collaboration and optimize the use of Techwood, which was created to be a leading center for our diverse portfolio of activities. As part of these changes, we are selling the CNN Center, which is a shopping mall, well positioned in the downtown entertainment district of the city. Once sold, we will lease the property for a minimum of five years. There will be no immediate impact on the employees working at the CNN Center, “WarnerMedia said in a statement.
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“Now that we have had time for a more in-depth assessment, we have concluded that the best solution is to sell the CNN Center,” the company said in a note to employees. It will centralize most employees at its Techwood complex site, also in Atlanta. He said the transition process would be “long”.
He recognized the seriousness of such a sale, stating: “We recognize the historical relevance of the CNN Center. Ted Turner was a true pioneer who reinvented the media when he launched the 24 hour news channel in 1980. “
“WarnerMedia was proud to play a role in consolidating Ted’s legacy last December with the dedication of our Techwood campus to him, the unveiling of a mural portrait commissioned on our campus and a donation to the University of Georgia , in partnership with the Turner family and Turner Enterprises, who created the Ted Turner Exhibition Hall & Gallery at the UGA library, the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund and the Ted Turner Maverick internship.
The CNN Center was attacked by protesters who smashed windows and threw firecrackers on May 29 amid heated protests after the murder of George Floyd.
AT&T had planned to sell $ 10 billion in assets this year, a decision that has been partially blocked so far by the coronavirus pandemic. He has more than $ 150 billion in debt, inflated by the acquisition of Time Warner. Last year it sold Central European Media for $ 2.1 billion, as well as its holdings in Hulu, the offices of Hudson Yards, and other buildings and cell phone towers. He also appears to be considering unloading the Warner Bros. video game division. Interactive Entertainment.
“Part of effective business management is to constantly review operations to make sure we are getting the most out of our assets, including real estate,” said the memo.
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