OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
CNN is closing its Atlanta’s landmark CNN Center. After 35 years, CNN is going back to the Techwood Turner Broadcasting campus in midtown Atlanta.
Midtown Atlanta is where Ted Turner co-founded the 24/7 cable news telecasts. The massive CNN sign in Atlanta is reportedly being dismantled.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PRINT
CNN has sold & moving out of longstanding iconic CNN CENTER, downtown Atlanta, to Florida-based firm for $164 million, in effort to cut costs.
"Heartbroken, so many people will miss wonderful CNN logo on top of CNN Center, meant so much"…aww. pic.twitter.com/NHC0tK2fY4
— AmericanTyranny (@NONbiasedly) January 16, 2023
In recent years, CNN has been battling numerous lawsuits as well as very low able news ratings.
The network is struggling to attract viewers despite a desperate effort to remove anti-Trump hosts and eliminate radical left-wing bias in its reporting.
In the January 13th week ratings, the highest-ranked CNN show was “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” which finished in 28th place with roughly 700,000 viewers at the 5 pm slot.
In comparison, all 18 programs on Fox News were ranked above CNN’s top show, even including the 6 am and 10 pm slots which usually attract fewer viewers.
When combining the viewership of all CNN primetime shows, it fails to outpace a single primetime show on Fox News.
The top shows on Fox News are “The Five,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Jesse Watters Primetime,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “Hannity,” and “Gutfeld.” They combine for over 18 million viewers.
The CNN Center began in 1980 and, by 1987, had grown to the point of occupying and dominating what was known as the Omni Center. Visitors were welcomed to shop, dine, and take tours of CNN.
At the Techwood Turner Broadcasting campus, the atrium theater had continual showings of the 1939 Atlanta-based classic “Gone With the Wind.” That film and other classics had been purchased by Turner and would later become the Turner Classic Movies network.
The CNN Center became a tourist attraction even before the College Football Hall of Fame, World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and Centennial Olympic Park.
A.J. Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress, said, “That building and that real estate is part of the postcard of Atlanta.”
“Ted created an entire industry here and helped build the city’s international status.”
The CNN Center had a worldwide reach, the mainstream audience looked on and followed the continual coverage of the 1991 Gulf War.
Former CNN president Tom Johnson said he is heartbroken over the closing of the CNN Center.
Johnson said, “So many of my friends tell me how they’re going to miss that wonderful CNN logo on top of CNN Center. It just meant so much to us.”
Former executive producer Tenisha Tidwell said the news was like receiving a phone call “and finding out your parents were selling grandma’s house.”
“No! You don’t sell grandma’s house! I had so many memories there, the laughter, the people.”
The CNN network is now in New York, CNN’s parent company AT&T sold the CNN Center in 2021. Due to the pandemic, there has been less of a demand for Atlanta office space.