OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The partisan hosts at CNN could be in for a rude awakening very soon as the network is headed back towards a hard-news stance.
Jon Nicosia, the former managing editor at Mediaite, said executives at Discovery, which is merging with CNN, want to steer away from the hosts expressing a partisan viewpoint.
“SOURCE: John Malone, Discovery’s board member will ‘play a huge role in the new organization’s plans to return @CNN to its news channel roots and dismantle the partisan organization Zucker shifted it into’ They continue: ‘This will mean a large realignment of staff,’” he said in a tweet.
He added that his source told him that they expect hosts to be shown the door.
“SOURCE: This ‘realignment’ will start with @CNN Anchors. One (who was very close with Zucker) and will have a hard time transitioning away from opinion will ‘be out by the end of Spring,’” he said.
Chris Wallace left Fox News to join CNN’s streaming service, but that plan collapsed as the new owners shut down CNN+ after posting abysmal ratings.
Another name reportedly on the chopping block is CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter.
Nicosia took to Twitter last week and reported that sources told him that Stelter has “weeks” left at the network and that other CNN employees are complaining about changes made by new management.
Nicosia tweeted: “SOURCE: “Stelter is ‘down to weeks if not days’ left at CNN. They go on ‘He is everything that reminds the new owners of the Zucker era they desperately want to get past.”
“They continue: ‘Management is confident Stelter is the one sharing the internal pushback to fellow media reporters while simultaneously stirring discontent within the ranks.’”
They continue: "Management is confident Stelter is the one sharing the internal pushback to fellow media reporters while simultaneously stirring discontent within the ranks"
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) June 15, 2022
Other CNN employees were complaining about changes made by Chris Licht and new boss billionaire Trump donor John Malone.
“We didn’t have this problem until John Malone was sitting on the board of this company,” one CNN employee said.
“It’s worrisome that we’re being told how to talk about one of the worst things that ever happened to American democracy,” another CNN employee added.
Other partisan CNN hosts like Jim Acosta could also be on the chopping block.
The new boss at CNN, Chris Licht, “is evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan,” Axios reported.
Three sources close to the situation said that if the talent can not adjust and be more straight news and less partisan they could be gone.
It is reported that he wants to give the current talent a chance to prove that they can do straight news and not tarnish CNN’s reputation, which may be tarnished right now.
“We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers,” Licht said to employees in a memo. “If talent cannot adjust to a less partisan tone and strategy, they could be ousted, three sources familiar with the matter told Axios.
But that is not the only change. Licht also agrees with others that CNN uses the “Breaking News’ banner far too often.
“Something I have heard from people both inside and outside the organization is complaints we overuse the ‘Breaking News’ banner. I agree,” the new boss said.
“It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience. Starting today, CNN has added a ‘Breaking News’ guideline to our stylebook. A special thank you to Sam Feist, who led the team that put the guideline together. It certainly will need tweaks, so we are open to feedback, but this is a great starting point to try to make ‘Breaking News’ mean something BIG is happening,” he said.
Bye-bye, "breaking news" banners.
A month into his tenure as the new leader of CNN, Chris Licht is changing the news network from the Jeff Zucker days, encouraging less hype and more nuance. Some at the network are skeptical. https://t.co/BZhOE135Z5
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 5, 2022
Another report from TVNewser reveals that Warner Bros. Discovery has begun laying off staffers less than a month after pulling the plug on CNN’s failed streaming service.