AT&T will not sell CNN after its acquisition of parent Time Warner closes, according to AT&T Entertainment Group chief John Stankey.
Stankey was recently named as the executive to lead Time Warner, which will soon have a new name. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he considers “news to be much like sports in terms of providing content that is urgent and watchable on a variety of devices.” He said that it would a missed opportunity to not be in that business.
There will also be no changes in respect to CNN’s editorial independence, because, as he said to the Hollywood Reporter, “you can’t run a national news organization with that importance to our society without maintaining its editorial independence.”
Though Stankey is still unfamiliar with Time Warner’s TMZ, but said that AT&T has no intention to divest or restructure the collection of assets that they are buying.
Stankey has been with AT&T for 30 years and was asked last week to oversee Time Warner’s assets once AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition is approved. Once approved, Stankey will be one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, overseeing a portfolio that includes HBO, Warner Bros., Turner networks and CNN.
He also said that you won’t see layovers, with a few exceptions of duplication at the corporate level, because “we want those people (at Time Warner) to be around.”
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