AT&T says CNN will remain independent after it buys Time Warner: report
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The CEO of AT&T pledged Sunday that CNN will remain independent amid a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion. 

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The merger would make AT&T the owner of media companies including CNN and HBO.

"Ensuring the public that CNN remains independent from an editorial perspective is critical," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an email shared with a group of journalists and media CEOs on Sunday, as reported by CNN Money.

In his email, Stephenson said CNN is "an American symbol of independent journalism and First Amendment free speech."

"I think you can begin to destroy a brand like CNN if you begin to meddle in its independence," he told CNN Money.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who will stay on during the sale, said CNN has "the biggest news-gathering budget" and "the biggest commitment to global news.”