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.

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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Source: Equities News

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