AT&T, the parent company of CNN, is reportedly trying to dump the mainstream media network as it’s being predicted that ratings will plummet in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.
AT&T has had CNN since 2018 when it acquired it upon purchasing Time Warner, later rebranding the media holding company as WarnerMedia. Fox Business senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday that AT&T is actively trying to sell CNN because doing so would allow the telecommunications giant to start paying down its debt, which currently stands at over $150 billion.
“The balance sheet over there is a real problem and that’s what’s fueling this. I mean look at it this way: CNN does not have Donald Trump to kick around anymore — their ratings will take a hit,” Gasparino said. “They are owned by a company that is financially unstable — $150 billion in debt, AT&T has. They need to cut costs.”
“On the content part of AT&T, the other part is the wireless part and the distribution through satellite, that content part is not analogous to the other content that they have there — it sticks out like a sore thumb,” he added.
Gasparino went on to say that even the journalists who work at CNN believe it will be sold imminently.
“I am not a CNN hater — there are some really good journalists there — they believe they are for sale,” he explained.
Gasparino had reported last month that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the wealthiest man in the globe, may purchase CNN so that he can add it to his media portfolio that already includes the Washington Post. Gasparino said this week that it would make sense that Bezos would be the one to buy CNN because other media organizations would likely be blocked by antitrust laws. He added that Bezos is one of the only people who has the kind of wealth necessary for this transaction.
It remains to be seen whether Bezos or someone else will actually buy CNN, however, given how ratings are likely to tank for the network once Trump is out of office.
“This rumor is real,” Gasparino added. “CNN, like a lot of media companies, it may have hit its peak hating Trump.”