The Resistance Reports
March 9, 2017
Donald Trump is angry at CNN because of the reporting the news channel did on documents alleging ties between the Russian government and the president-elect. And the same time, owner of CNN, Time Warner wants to sell the company to AT&T. The deal needs regulatory approval.
The Cable News Network (CNN) is an American basic cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. It was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.
While the news channel has numerous affiliates, CNN primarily broadcasts from the Time Warner Center in New York City, and studios in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta is only used for weekend programming. CNN is sometimes referred to as CNN/U.S. (or CNN Domestic) to distinguish the American channel from its international sister network, CNN International. As of August 2010, CNN is available in over 100 million U.S. households. Broadcast coverage of the U.S. channel extends to over 890,000 American hotel rooms, as well as carriage on cable and satellite providers throughout Canada. Globally, CNN programming airs through CNN International, which can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories.
As of February 2015, CNN is available to about 96,289,000 cable, satellite, and telco television households (82.7% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.
What will happen?
Will CNN very clever hide a softer agenda on Trump? Would Trump use his anger at CNN to block the take-over?
On the campaign trail, President Trump slammed the deal, saying he opposed it out of concern that it would concentrate too much power into one entity. He has been silent on the merger since assuming office although he and his administration have had a running feud with Time Warner’s CNN. It will fall to the Justice Department to decide whether the deal is permissible on anti-trust grounds and if any conditions should be imposed on AT&T as a condition of securing federal approval.
That led to a dramatic exchange between Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta at Trump’s press conference today, where Acosta tried to get Trump to answer a question, and Trump accused CNN of being — not publishing — “fake news.”
What does Wall Street what it thinks: Some worried that Trump’s feud with CNN will hurt CNN owner Time Warner’s plan to sell to AT&T for $85 billion. Bloomberg earlier reported that Trump, who promised to block the deal during his campaign, was still opposed to the deal.
That countered conventional wisdom that Trump’s statements were stump-inspired hyperbole, and knocked a few dollars off of Time Warner shares, which have remained down for a long time. If you wanted to, you could attribute that slump to Trump’s comments.
Today, Time Warner shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to approve the media conglomerate’s upcoming sale to AT&T. The companies still must earn government approval for the $85.4 billion sale, but they have publicly said that they expect that the deal will close by the end of 2017.
Time Warner said Wednesday that 78% of the outstanding shares of common stock favored the pact — 99% of which were cast approved of the proposal. In a statement, Time Warner chairman-CEO Jeff Bewkes said the combined companies will be stronger together, with AT&T’s vast distribution network of cellphone and mobile devices benefiting from Time Warner’s movies and TV shows.
“In addition to providing shareholders with immediate value and the ability to participate in the upside of the combined company, the deal advances our long-term operational strategy,” said Bewkes. “By combining Time Warner’s leading brands and video content with AT&T’s distribution, we will accelerate our ability to innovate, develop and deliver the next generation of video services, making our content even more valuable to consumers and business partners.”
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