ATT's WarnerMedia in Discussions To Sell TMZ to Fox Corp

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: TMZ

AT&T Inc (NYSE:  T) is reportedly closing in on a deal to sell its WarnerMedia unit's tabloid entertainment company TMZ to Fox Corporation (Nasdaq:  FOXA


According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T and Fox have had on-again, off-again, talks for over a year regarding TMZ and co-founder Harry Levin’s concerns over how much editorial control he would have at Fox.

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Citing sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported on Wednesday that the two sides are finalizing the terms of an agreement that would value TMZ at between $100 million and $125 million.

AT&T, WarnerMedia and Fox have not publicly commented on the report.

The potential deal comes as AT&T prepares to spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery Inc to form a streaming giant called Warner Bros Discovery. 

Until the $43 billion deal closes — which is expected sometime in mid-2022 — the telecommunications giant is required to operate on a business-as-usual basis, according to The Information.

In recent months, AT&T has been paring down its non-core businesses to raise cash that will be used to pay down debt and make new investments in 5G technology.

On Monday, AT&T officially closed the $1.2 billion sale of its Crunchyroll anime streaming business to Sony Entertainment Inc’s Funimation group. 

In June, AT&T sold mobile games studio Playdemic to Electronic Arts for $1.4 billion in cash, and AT&T announced in March that it would spin off its DirectTV business, selling a 30% stake to private equity firm TPG Capital.

According to Deadline, AT&T’s chief executive officer John Stankey said late last month that his company is working closely with regulators, and the WarnerMedia/Discovery deal appears to be on track. 


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