Atlanta one of three finalists for Time Warner project

By Doug Sams and Maria Saporta
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Atlanta is now a finalist to land a key business unit for media giant Time Warner Inc. that could involve up to 500 jobs.

The project is part of Time Warner’s (NYSE: TWX) plan to reorganize key divisions to help the company operate more efficiently. Atlanta, Rochester, N.Y., and Tampa, Fla., are in the running, according to people familiar with the process. In June, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the city’s status in the Time Warner reorganization.

Charlotte, N.C., was dropped from consideration, sources said.

The business unit would include grouping information technology, human resources and other back office operations, or “shared services,” in central locations.

Those operations reside within various business units, and the company wants to eliminate redundancies across its divisions.

“I can confirm that Atlanta is currently on the list, said Time Warner spokesman Keith Cocozza. “It is one of the finalists.”

Atlanta would get an immediate boost to a listless job market that has struggled to create new jobs during the economic recovery.

If Atlanta won the Time Warner operation, it could mark one of the largest influx of jobs to the metro area since NCR Corp. moved its corporate headquarters from Dayton, Ohio, to Duluth, Ga., in 2009, relocating more than 1,000 employees.

Atlanta might be a natural choice. Time Warner’s largest division, Turner Broadcasting System, is based here. TBS employed 6,700 in Atlanta at the end of 2010.

TBS has two major facilities in Atlanta, CNN Center and its entertainment channels on 10th Street.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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