They might not admit it, but if President Donald Trump doesn’t secure a second term through his vast number of ongoing legal challenges, many in the mainstream media will soon be pining for the days when they could jack up their ratings with virtually 24/7 anti-Trump coverage.
That seems to be especially true for the president’s biggest cable news enemy: according to the Washington Examiner, CNN is reportedly being shopped around for a new owner by its corporate master, AT&T.
CNN for sale?
The reasons for the sale, according to Fox Business correspondent Charlie Gasparino, are two-fold. First, it’s no secret that AT&T is not exactly as financially sound as they once were. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company had $150 billion in debt at the end of 2019, bolstered in part by its acquisition of Time-Warner, which had owned CNN.
Like any company looking to decrease debt, the first course of action is to identify entities that can be sold or otherwise unloaded to reduce further risk of increased debt. That methodology segues into the next reason why the telecom giant would seek to get rid of CNN.
The cable news network has long struggled to turn out the massive viewership see by competitors like Fox News, but during Trump’s time in office, that began to change. CNN quickly realized that its core viewers would tune in to watch the network’s various personalities relentlessly trash the president and his administration, thus driving up ratings.
But with the unfortunate likelihood that Trump will soon be forced to exit the White House, AT&T apparently believes that CNN is going to have a remarkably tough time bringing in the ratings that it has over the past four years.
“CNN does not have Donald Trump to kick around anymore, and their ratings will take a hit,” Gasparino told Fox Business in a recent interview, according to the Washington Examiner.
“They need to cut costs. There’s an active investor out there,” he added, as Fox News reported.
A potential buyer?
While there could be a number of groups interested in buying CNN — or a piece of it — there have been steady rumors that Amazon gazillionaire Jeff Bezos could be a potential frontrunner in purchasing the network.
According to Fox Business, Bezos, who dipped his toes into the media world by purchasing The Washington Post for a cool $250 million in 2013, could be a logical fit, especially given his deep, cash-rich pockets and his foray into big media.
Other potential suitors, according to Fox Business, could include media giants like ViacomCBS and Comcast.
Only time will tell what fate holds for CNN, but one can be sure Trump won’t soon let the network forget that it’s only because of him they managed to stay above water for even this long.