Why Selling CNN Won’t Be Easy for Warner Bros. Discovery | Analysis

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Experts warn that a potential sale faces various hurdles, including a challenging regulatory environment and the industrywide decline in linear television

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 25: David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery speaks during the State of the Industry and Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on April 25, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

CNN is not for sale, David Zaslav has insisted.

But analysts warn that the CEO of debt-laden Warner Bros. Discovery may not have much choice but to try to sell the asset, however attached to the network he may be. The real question: How hard will it be to get a deal?

The obstacles to a CNN sale are many, from likely regulatory and political blowback, to the most likely buyers facing their own financial challenges — along with the likelihood that Zaslav won’t get the number he needs to make the sale. Yet speculation about a sale seems only to be heating up as the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley approaches next week, a hotbed of media dealmaking.