OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The head of Media Matters For America is “terrified” that CNN will sell to Fox News, leaving the Murdoch owned business in charge of a major swath of news coverage.
Many Democrats have been sounding the alarm as CNN has made a noted shift to becoming more centrist in its coverage.
The Media Matters head, Angelo Carusone spoke to SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah on Friday to voice his concerns,” Mediaite reported.
“Thing I really am afraid of is that it is honesty that they sell to Rupert Murdoch. I’m terrified of this. It is super, it is his white whale and I think that it doesn’t fit into Discovery’s portfolio in a meaningful way. I’ve always been afraid of this, and the posture of making the platform more appealing, more attractive, more neutral, I think weakens it enough that they say, ‘Look, it’s just not worth it. We didn’t get the returns on investment. It hasn’t turned the corner yet.’ You know, I don’t think they’re going to get the audience gains that they think they’re going to get, which is part of the strategy. And that’s a real problem, too. So at its core, I’m afraid that in the short term, we see some bad coverage out of them, some spots of bad coverage which actually have bigger harms when it comes from CNN. And then bigger… But longer term, I think that it actually weakens the business model of CNN enough that it makes them more susceptible to just being spun off. And that’s not great either,” he said.
“That’s interesting, I never thought about that last one…,” the host said.
“So I don’t think people realize how often Rupert Murdoch tries to buy CNN. It happens all the time. He did it and he made a really aggressive, year-long plus play in 2017 and a run at it in 2014. He’s made runs I did during the early 2000, and that matters because that’s how we got the Wall Street Journal. He tried to buy it half a dozen times before it, before he eventually convinced the Bancrofts, which were the owners of the Wall Street Journal, to sell it. So I don’t think it’s it’s insane or too far gone to say, nah, this guy doesn’t need to finance if he’s sitting on a mountain of cash that was supposed to be used and is earmarked for media acquisitions, they haven’t used it yet. It’s just I mean, there’s a mountain of cash. He doesn’t need the financing. He can pay for the deal in cash. He can overpay, which is what Rupert Murdoch always does. He always overpays, always, because he knows that it’s easier,” he said.
The interview comes the same week that CNN has made another major change to its network during a series of changes that have seen some of the network’s top talents gone.
In its most recent earthquake to the network, CNN host Don Lemon has lost his primetime show and will be moved to mornings as part of a host team as the current morning show “New Day” is being canceled, The Wrap reported.
Don Lemon will lose his primetime CNN show on weeknights to co-anchor the network’s reimagined morning show with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, the network announced Thursday.
The new morning show will debut later in the year with a new name, format, and set — and signals the end of “Don Lemon Tonight” after an eight-year run. CNN did not announce any plans for how it will fill Lemon’s primetime slot, which has long lagged behind Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” in the ratings.
John Berman and Brianna Keilar, who currently anchor the network’s ratings-challenged “New Day,” will shift to other roles at CNN later in the year.
It has been a time of change with the new ownership at CNN and it has affected more than Don Lemon.
Mere hours after he praised President Joe Biden’s anti-MAGA Republican speech, CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood was gone from the news network.
CNN has been undergoing changes with the idea of getting to a more centrist news style and away from partisan leaning, and that has meant that some CNN personalities have to go.
Neither the network nor Harwood said if he was fired, quit or it was a mutual decision, but the timing had many wondering if his praise of President Biden’s divisive speech was the cause.
Harwood said in a tweet, “personal news: today’s my last day at CNN proud of the work thanks to my colleagues i’ve been lucky to serve the best in American media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN look forward to figuring out what’s next.”