AT&T buys Time Warner, promises independence for CNN

In a deal expected to close by 2017, the Wall Street Journal reports AT&T has reached an agreement to buy Time Warner at $85.4 billion, or about $107.50 a share. The companies agreed that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes would stay for an interim period following the close of the deal to help with the transition.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted, “Ensuring the public that CNN remains independent from an editorial perspective is critical.”

His email described CNN as “an American symbol of independent journalism and First Amendment free speech.”

“We are fully appreciative and cognizant of that kind of independence. I think you can begin to destroy a brand like CNN if you begin to meddle in its independence,” Stephenson said to CNNMoney correspondent Brian Stelter.

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