AT&T to sell CNN Center building in downtown Atlanta

The iconic CNN Center building in downtown Atlanta will soon have a new owner, though CNN employees will remain there for at least a few more years.

AT&T, which owns CNN as a result of the acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, has already agreed to sell or plans to sell the CNN Center, according to a company internal memo sent Monday. WarnerMedia, the AT&T subsidiary that CNN operates, will lease the building to its new owners for at least five years.

CNN employees will not be affected immediately. But long-term plans require many, if not most, of CNN employees to move downtown to newly renovated buildings near Georgia Tech that already house TNT, Cartoon Network, and other WarnerMedia networks. WarnerMedia has a total of approximately 6,000 employees in Atlanta.

The CNN Center has long been a magnet at the center. He was harmed in late May when protests over the death of George Floyd by police in Minnesota turned violent. A large sign of the iconic CNN red logo, located at one of the building’s main entrances, was also damaged during the protests, although it was promptly repaired the next day.

CNN has occupied its namesake building since 1987, when Ted Turner moved the network there from his original home on the Techwood campus, where it was founded in 1980.

That move “was a spark that catalyzed development there,” said Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor. “It is right where the Centennial Olympic Park was built. Over time, it helped the rebirth of the city center. “

After Turner sold CNN to Time Warner in 1996, network executives and presenters began moving from Atlanta to New York. When New York-based Jeff Zucker took over CNN in 2013, he moved all CNN presenters on weekdays to New York. Last year, WarnerMedia invested heavily in CNN’s Hudson Yards facility, a new mixed-use development in Manhattan.

Most recently, the CNN Center has been largely empty, as many CNN employees have worked from home since the coronavirus pandemic in March. Many of those workers cannot return to the office until next year. CNN also suspended their study tour in March.

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