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Anthem officially announces plans to purchase majority stake in TNA; Dixie Carter steps down

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It’s been all but official for a while now, but Wrestling Observer has seen the press release and broken the news - Anthem Sports & Entertainment will purchase a controlling interest in TNA... or, as lawyers put it, “entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in TNA Impact Wrestling”.

Anthem first got involved with TNA as they own Fight Network, the official Canadian broadcast partner for the promotion.

An Executive Vice-President from Anthem, Ed Nordholm, will become president of what will now be known as Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Dixie Carter, beleaguered owner of TNA, will step down as Chairman of the Board and take an advisory position for another subsidiary, Fight Media Group, "where her focus will be on the global growth of the combat sports-related brands owned by Anthem”. She will remain a minority stakeholder in the company she’s been involved with since 2002.

In the press release, Carter is quoted as saying:

Anthem has been a great partner for many years. We have worked hard to find the right company who would acquire TNA, use its strategic influence and have a long-term commitment to the brand. TNA’s incredible fans, talent and staff deserved to see the brand continue to thrive after 15+ years of incredible growth. I’m excited to move to a new position and work with Anthem on their global strategic plan, and I am confident TNA IMPACT Wrestling is going to be a huge part of their success.

TNA begins a week of tapings for their weekly show and pay-per-view (PPV) commitments tomorrow (Jan. 5) in Orlando. It remains to be seen if Anthem has had a chance to make changes - like replacing departed Creative team members like Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana, let alone the possibility of re-branding TNA, something for which many fans and company insiders have wished.

Another former owner, Jeff Jarrett, is still in contact with Anthem about returning to TNA in some capacity, according to several sources.

It seems that even with new owners, TNA still won’t be dull.

Stay tuned.