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Has CNN Become Time Warner’s ‘Old Maid’?

I have said for weeks that President-elect Donald Trump will not support the AT&T-Time Warner if, in his view at least, CNN continues to hammer him with negative coverage.

Since Time Warner owns CNN, Trump would regard approving the merger as rewarding, and reinforcing, the news network’s direction.

My analysis was recently confirmed by Bloomberg News which said in a January 5th article that Trump now opposes the AT&T-Time Warner largely because of CNN.

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Since Trump’s press conference last week in which he shouted down a CNN reporter, and called the network the provider of “fake news,” an industry consensus has developed that CNN is indeed an obstacle to the merger’s chances. In fact, considering that Trump and his advisers are normally pro-business, CNN may be the only serious obstacle.

Consequently, industry analysts have speculated that AT&T will agree to sell CNN to appease Trump, and win his support for the deal.

But here’s the problem with that scenario.

What company would want CNN in its portfolio now knowing that the incoming president detests it, and is not beneath acting on his hatred to hurt whatever company owns it? I can’t think of a single company that might be considered a CNN suitor that doesn’t have at least some business with the federal government.

For example, would ABC buy CNN knowing that the Trump administration might spurn any future merger involving its owner, Disney? Not likely.

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Would CBS have interest? No way. The network has a number of ongoing initiatives that require a kind hand in Washington, and it’s not impossible that CBS might soon propose its own merger.

What about a wild card buyer, such as Google or Apple? Again, they work hand-in-hand with the feds on many important company policies and certainly couldn’t risk blowing that with one acquisition.

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No, it would appear that CNN has become the equivalent of the ‘Old Maid’ in Time Warner’s deck, the card that no one wants because its holder loses the game. Time Warner and AT&T probably can’t sell CNN, and they probably can’t pressure it to tone down its coverage of Trump because the media would have a field day covering that when it leaked. (And, of course, it would leak.)

So what will happen? I still think the merger is dead because of the toxic relationship between Trump and CNN. It’s certainly possible that CNN will somehow try to placate the president-elect, but it’s probably too late for that.

— Phillip Swann

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About TV Answer Man (324 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

4 Comments on Has CNN Become Time Warner’s ‘Old Maid’?

  1. quit trying to blame cnn, I think they actually helped trump to get elected covering most of his speeches from the very beginning stupid idiots! and the one that does fake news is fox news the offical channel of the KKK!

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  2. Not blaming anyone. Just stating the facts on the ground.

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  3. @Celticpride your statement is idiotic and ignorant. Whatever you think about Fox News (obviously you think they are literally Hitler and Pro KKK which should discredit everything you say) they are FAR more balanced than any other news outlet.

    CNN is blatantly anti trump. They are not even trying to hide it. Every story is slanted against him. Fox as a news organization airs viewpoints from both sides of issues they present and they have no personal vendetta against anyone they cover, not even Obama. CNN goes out of their way to paint every issue where Trump is involved as nefarious, unqualified, inferior, uninformed, illegitimate, treasonous and worse.

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  4. Love how some “blame” Fox news, in that every main stream media including Wash Post, NY Times, have done nothing but kiss HRC’s ass at every turn. So, ONE cable news network, that actually IS Fair and Balanced, controlled the election? NO, CNN has had more fake news constantly! They might as well shut their doors!

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