Who Owns CNN?

Last Updated on 12/12/2020 by GS Staff

Q: Who owns CNN?

CNN (also known as the Cable News Network) is one of the major cable news stations that broadcasts to over 100 million households in the United States and Canada. The station first aired in 1980 and is the pioneer of 24-hour news.

CNN was founded by Ted Turner who also created an impressive list of other stations including Turner Network Television (TNT), Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS), Headline News, and Cartoon Network.

So, who owns CNN? Turner Broadcasting Systems runs CNN. However, Turner merger with Time Warner in October 1996. Turner is officially a division of its parent company Time Warner.

Time Warner owns a massive amount of assets in film and television outside of Turner Broadcasting Systems. Some of these assets include Home Box Office (HBO), DC Comics, The CW, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

We should mention that the U.S. Justice Department sued to block an $85 billion takeover of Time Warner by AT&T in November of 2017. The Justice Department cited antitrust concerns. The merger has now been pushed out to April 22, 2018, as the companies deal with the Justice Department lawsuit.

The concern by the Justice Department has to do, at least partly, with the fact that AT&T owns DirectTV and Time Warner owns a number of television and film assets. The worry is that the combined company could withhold content, say HBO or CNN as examples,  from competing companies. They could also increase prices for rivals to air the content.

It appears that the Justice Department and AT&T will face off in court rather quickly to decide if the merger creates antitrust issues. Keep in mind that AT&T has stated that they are unwilling to sell off CNN in order to complete the merger. At this point, it appears that CNN will remain a part of Time Warner, but that could change in the coming months as the court case plays out. We will update the past as more information is available.

Time Warner trades under the stock symbol TWX and AT&T trades under T.

Update 8/18/2019: The federal government lost the appeal that looked to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger. CNN is officially now owned by AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

If you liked this post, please check out our article on who owns Netflix.