Atlanta is losing another signature component of its corporate identity.
The Turner name, long one of Atlanta's proudest brands, will be erased in the AT&T-Time Warner merger, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other newspapers. Atlanta will also suffer losses at the broadcasting properties that brought Ted Turner national and international fame.
That follows the loss of Atlanta mainstay SunTrust Bank to Charlotte through the old Coca-Cola financier's merger with BB&T.
Atlanta also struck out in Amazon's quest for a second headquarters. And, the city no longer finds itself among the hottest in the nation for drawing newcomers, according to another AJC article.
Turner, who gave Atlanta national and international prominence through his Channel 17 superstation, ownership of the Braves and Hawks and the creation of CNN, gave a conciliatory statement about his name's disappearance from the new corporate juggernaut, which merges AT&T's cable delivery system with TimeWarner's media properties, including Turner's broadcasting empire.
The merger will bring job cuts at CNN and Turner channels in Atlanta, and more of the company's media presence in New York, Los Angeles and AT&T's Dallas. CNN has kept a strong operation in Atlanta over the years, but city business leaders have long feared that the 24-hour-news channel would shift its focus to New York and Washington.
Turner in the last TimeWarner merger lost his Braves to Liberty Media, and the baseball team left Turner Field and moved to Cobb County, where the SunTrust name remains for now.
It appears that the Turner name will survive at Turner Classic Movies, which might provide content for the new streaming service planned by AT&T to compete with NetFlix, Amazon Prime and streaming services coming from Disney and others.
At least Turner has a downtown Atlanta street named for him. And I suppose his restaurants will still serve those juicy buffalo steaks.