The announcement is a great internal fit, but nothing will change immediately.
Pascal Desroches, chief financial officer of WarnerMedia, which is comprised of CNN and other brands like HBO and Warner Bros, said the company is prioritizing Techwood, another property it owns in Atlanta.
"Following the sale of the CNN Center, we plan to centralize the majority of our employees on the Techwood campus," Desroches wrote in an internal memo. "This process will take several years, so we do not expect any immediate change for the employees who work at the CNN Center."
It will be a kind of homecoming, as CNN was founded in 1980 in a former country club on Techwood Drive.
Still, the announcement will spark mixed emotions between CNN employees and Atlanta residents. The CNN Center building has been the center of the network since 1987. While most newscasts are now anchored from New York and Washington, CNN Center control rooms and production teams keep the network running 24 hours a day. hours of the day. Key functions like CNN.com and the Standards and Practices Department are based there.
The building is a beacon for journalism, and it spans a valuable block in downtown Atlanta, between Centennial Olympic Park and State Farm Arena.
"Downtown Atlanta has seen a huge investment and is fast becoming an entertainment destination," Desroches told employees. "The CNN Center is of great value to a third party that specializes in such developments."
Then WarnerMedia will search for a buyer. A corporate spokesperson said the plan requires a lease on the sale, which means CNN employees will remain at the CNN Center for a time while the move is complete.
The company, formerly known as Time Warner, struck a similar deal by selling its New York headquarters building in 2014. CNN's New York offices and other parts of the company moved to a new neighborhood, Hudson Yards, in 2019.
Time Warner evaluated a sale of the CNN Center in Atlanta before AT&T acquired the company, a process that began in 2016.
The sale deliberations were suspended "until the completion of the merger," Desroches wrote. "Now that we have had time to evaluate more, we have concluded that the best course of action is to sell the CNN Center."
But "this move should in no way suggest that WarnerMedia is less committed to Atlanta," he wrote. "Like the Hudson Yards in Manhattan and the announcement of a new Los Angeles office space at Ivy Station, we believe the long-term benefit of being in one location will be a more collaborative workforce."
In Atlanta, the primary location will be Techwood, about two miles north of the CNN Center facility. TBS and other channels are operated from the Techwood campus, which still contains the mansion that housed CNN from the start. At some point in the future, CNN will return there.