Originally posted Saturday, October 26, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Seven months ago, New York based WarnerMedia announced a restructuring that splintered the vaunted Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting into three new divisions and sent vanguard Ted Turner’s name into oblivion.
But corporate moves of this sort take time. Only on Friday did the famous “Turner” insignia at Turner’s vaunted Techwood campus was taken off the main building. It was merely symbolic but for many Turner employees, a sad moment in history.
“His name is wiped off everything in ATL,” said Sue Sneed on a Facebook comment in a group page of former Turner employees and where a photo of the sign removal was posted. “Hope Ted Turner Drive is at least here to stay. Atlanta owes him a place of honor.”
Several hundred thousand commuters passed by the building every day off I-75/I-85 in Midtown, a symbol of Turner’s once impressive media hold on Atlanta. But Turner himself sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner in 1996 and he left the company a decade later. Time Warner chose to keep Turner Broadcasting as a separate entity but when AT&T took over last year, things inevitably changed.
Now, there are three divisions with TBS, TNT and truTV absorbed into an entertainment group with HBO. Jeff Zucker runs all live programming, including CNN, CNN International, HLN and Turner Sports. TCM and Cartoon Network are part of a third division with the film portion of WarnerMedia.
So far, there have been no major layoffs in Atlanta operations since that March announcement but changes are likely to come in 2020.
Turner still has more than 6,000 employees in Atlanta centered mostly at CNN Center and the Techwood campus. Affiliate relations, operations and marketing departments are heavily represented in Atlanta. Turner Sports, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim still largely operate out of Atlanta along with significant portions of CNN, CNN International and HLN, which recently centralized live programming back to CNN Center.
Ted’s name isn’t entirely gone from WarnerMedia. It remains for now as part of Turner Classic Movies (often referenced as TCM) and Turner Sports, which includes NBA and FInal Four coverage out of the Techwood campus.
Most top leadership jobs though have migrated to Los Angeles and New York over the past decade.
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