When AT&t bought Time Warner, it had been looking for a way to move its content, including news, online and in-store, from its own home base of San Francisco.
That meant bringing its online and TV businesses together.
AT&ts CEO Randall Stephenson had talked up the possibility of a $50 billion merger, and he even suggested it could be completed by the end of the year.
But then it all fell apart.
AT+ went belly-up, and Stephenson resigned, a move that led to speculation that the company might pull out of the broadband space entirely.
At&t’s last big TV buy, the $85 billion purchase of HBO, was also delayed, and its acquisition of Time Warner didn’t materialize.
Now, it seems, the telecoms are starting to look at buying media companies.
AT &t has bought the news service NewsCorp, which is in the process of merging with Time Warner.
It also has bought several digital media businesses including Buzzfeed, which it acquired for $1 billion in 2016.
At the same time, AT&ttt has been acquiring media companies like Viacom, which also merged with Time-Warner in 2018.
Stephenson and the rest of AT&tz leadership team will be looking to turn the company around in the media space, and they’ll be able to do so without the threat of the media giants pulling out of broadband.
But AT&cthough it’s looking to diversify into more media businesses, the tech giant still sees the Internet as the way to go.
AT will be investing in a wide range of platforms to reach a broader audience, Stephenson told Business Insider.
“We want to create a world where people can watch, consume and consume content from any place in the world,” Stephenson said.
The media companies, AT &ttt said, have “taken us in the wrong direction” when it comes to getting people to watch more online and mobile content.
In a statement to Business Insider, AT said it is investing $50 million to create an AT>el news network and $30 million to invest in a new online news platform that will be based on its news brands.
AT said that it will invest $5 billion to build out a digital media platform, which AT&tv says will create an “accelerating, digital-native media platform” that will bring together the “unrivaled global reach” of the companies’ news brands and help them reach a more diverse audience.
The news platform will be “dedicated to serving the broad audience of the 21st century,” the statement said.
ATs investment in the news channel is particularly notable given that AT< has a history of buying digital media companies and has been working to diversifying into more.
In 2018, AT took a stake in the popular podcast site Vimeo and is also building an acquisition of the social media site Instagram for $500 million.
In 2019, AT bought Buzzfeed for $140 million.
Stephenson told us that AT+ plans to continue investing in media companies as it builds out its media strategy.
“The focus is to continue to create the world that AT wants to create, and that’s why we are so excited about AT&tgel,” he said.
“When I look at what AT&tc is building, I think about how we built AT&tn,” Stephenson added.
“I think of how AT&tm has made the world a better place and made people more connected and connected and more engaged, and I think that’s going to be an important part of AT+’s future.”