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AT&T's chief says CNN will remain editorially independent

A statement from the telecom giant seeks to offer assurances that Time Warner's news network will continue to operate as it does today.

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AT&T signed a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion.

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For Time Warner's CNN news network , AT&T plans to stick with business as usual.

The telecom giant announced Saturday it will acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion in a half-stock, half-cash deal that values its shares at $107.50. Time Warner owns HBO, TBS, DC Comics, CNN and many other entertainment and news properties.

"CNN will remain completely independent from an editorial perspective," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Sunday in a brief statement. "Our intent is to operate Time Warner as it operates today, with autonomy in its divisions, including the world-class creative talent and journalists that make Time Warner a leader in entertainment and news."