AT&T officials are reportedly looking at selling off some of Time Warner's key assets once they acquire the company — including CNN and celebrity news website TMZ, Deadline Hollywood reports.
The officials believe the Justice Department will soon clear the way for AT&T's $85 billion acquisition of the company, according to the website. They expect the deal to be finalized by the end of the year.
If the company goes ahead with divesting itself of CNN, it would open the door for CBS to take over the news network, the website noted. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has long been interested in the news network.
"CNN is a very worthy news organization … it's something that could enhance CBS," Moonves said last month, according to Adweek. "But I don't think that's on the table right now. If it came up later on, it would be something we would look at."
And it is not the only time Moonves has talked about a possible purchase of CNN. As far back as 2014, Moonves addressed the possibility, according to USA Today.
"We'll see. It's something I'm sure we'll look at if it becomes available," he said.
CNN has been under attack by President Donald Trump. Purchasing the news network would enable CBS to cut duplication, and develop additional opportunities to highlight its journalists, Deadline Hollywood reported.
The website was told AT&T is mulling the sale of TMZ to a private equity company.
"They don't want any controversy," said one source.
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