AT&T-owned Time Warner has put its iconic CNN Centre in Atlanta up for sale.
The plan would see the CNN news HQ sold as part of a ‘sale and leaseback’ deal and where Time Warner holds onto the central Atlanta building for 5 years. CNN moved into the building in 1987.
“Downtown Atlanta has seen great investment and is quickly becoming an entertainment destination,” WarnerMedia CFO Pascal Desroches said in a note to CNN employees. “The CNN Center is of great value to a third party that specialises in such developments.”
Meanwhile, there would be consolidation of CNN activities. “Following the sale of the CNN Center, we plan to centralize most of our employees on the Techwood campus,” Desroches wrote in an internal memo. “This process will take several years, so we don’t expect any immediate changes for employees working at the CNN Center.”
Ted Turner launched CNN from the original Techwood building in 1980, saying that the all-news channel would be on air forever, and when the end of the world came the station would play ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ and then close down. Techwood is home to other Turner Broadcasting assets including Cartoon Network, TBS, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies.
The CNN Center building, which is also an Omni Hotel on a portion of the site, has a popular food court in its atrium. It is adjacent to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. It is one of Atlanta’s popular tourist attractions and there will shortly be a new sports stadium almost alongside CNN.
In total Turner Broadcasting (including CNN) has some 6000 staff working at various locations in Atlanta.