The Wrap reports that WarnerMedia told its staff yesterday that they are planning to sell the CNN Center in Atlanta. This is the former home of WCW back when it was owned by Turner Broadcasting from 1988 to 2001. They didn’t answer any questions about if this will mean there will be layoffs. WarnerMedia will not be leaving Atlanta entirely, however.
On an internal information sheet, they wrote: “Our strategy is to consolidate our teams in state-of-the-art hubs to maximize collaboration. This is a strategy we are also implementing at our other primary business locations, most recently at Hudson Yards in New York City and our Ivy Station project [in Culver City, California], currently in development. We believe this creates a more collaborative working environment for our employees. During the pandemic, we have learned a lot about working remotely and we will be looking at space solutions that are more agile for the appropriate teams. Over time, some employees moving from CNN Center will be relocated to our Techwood campus in Midtown Atlanta or our building on Williams Street, near Techwood. We recently undertook extensive renovations to our campus to better foster a culture of innovation, creativity and collaboration, and will continue to invest in Techwood. While we continue to transform our organization, one of our stated goals was to find efficiencies in how our companies work together to ensure we can focus our investments and optimize our resources. WarnerMedia has a large employee base in Atlanta, and we invest millions to keep and attract talented employees here.”
In another internal note to staff, chief financial officer Pascal Desroches wrote: “We recognize the historical relevance of the CNN Center. Ted Turner was a true pioneer who reinvented media when he launched the 24-hour news channel in 1980. WarnerMedia was proud to play a part in solidifying Teds legacy last December with the dedication of our Techwood campus to him, the unveiling of a commissioned mural portrait on our campus and a donation to the University of Georgia, in partnership with the Turner Family and Turner Enterprises, that established the Ted Turner Exhibition Hall & Gallery at UGAs library, the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund and the Ted Turner Maverick internship.”
An email from the company said that a “very small group” of employees will return to offices this week, but CNN president Jeff Zucker said that the changes won’t have a huge effect on CNN. Only cleared, critical workers will be allowed inside. Most emplyees are not expected to return until 2021.