Can Chris Licht Flip CNN Round?
Licht’s confidantes and advisers should have been beaming when James Stewart’s long-awaited New York Occasions profile landed on December 18, like a heat bundle of vacation cheer. (Licht’s boss, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, gave the piece a hearty plug on Instagram.) After months of tough and relentless protection that put Licht’s management below the lens of a high-power microscope, right here was a sympathetic portrait from a titan of the enterprise pages. Nonetheless, it’s too early to inform whether or not Licht and his lieutenants can proceed to flip the narrative. CNN introduced the curtain down on 2022 with a painful culling that put lots of out of labor. Annual earnings, as Stewart famous, have fallen by $500 million. The community’s huge streaming plans imploded. Its scores depart a lump within the throat. All of which means that Licht has his work reduce out for him. His to-do listing within the New Yr consists of locking in a prime-time lineup that has a combating probability of narrowing the hole with MSNBC and—extra dauntingly—Fox Information; gaining viewers momentum for CNN’s lately rebooted flagship morning present; and profitable the goodwill of workers, who noticed morale tank in the course of the rocky first eight months of Licht’s tenure.
Can The Washington Put up Stave Off a Mutiny?
Final we noticed Put up writer Fred Ryan, the pitchforks had been out as he retreated from a room stuffed with livid workers after he’d knowledgeable them—in spectacularly ham-fisted trend—of looming layoffs, after which refused to take any questions. (“Democracy dies in darkness, huh?” one staffer scoffed to this publication.) The fallout was swift: Video of the disastrous city corridor circulated on Twitter; a gaggle of union holdouts, together with a number of star reporters, enlisted with their colleagues within the NewsGuild; and experiences swirled hinting at friction between Ryan and the manager editor he’d appointed simply final yr, Sally Buzbee. The drama unfolded in opposition to a backdrop of dimming monetary prospects. Digital subscriptions are reportedly down. One presumes promoting is simply as tough as it’s all through the trade. And the brass, not like that of, say, The New York Occasions, haven’t precisely evinced a transparent enterprise technique to revive the mojo. Is that this the identical Washington Put up that loved copious progress and success below the legendary newsroom reign of Marty Baron? The bigger that query looms within the collective media consciousness, the extra fragile Ryan’s management could begin to appear.
Will The New York Occasions Avert a Strike?
On the time of this writing, Occasions leaders and their greater than 1,300 workers within the NewsGuild remained at an deadlock in a tense and protracted bargaining course of, with the Guild reportedly rejecting a proposal to usher in a federal mediator. This newest improvement got here on the heels of a piece stoppage that left the Occasions, for twenty-four hours at the least, with out the firepower of a giant phase of its journalistic corps. The one-day motion was a major escalation within the union’s battle for increased salaries befitting not solely the realities of inflation, however the Occasions’ ongoing prosperity. It might not cease there. Over the previous few years, the NewsGuild has expanded aggressively in membership and affect throughout the media, whereas demonstrating its willingness to resort to extra hardball techniques. (“Radical” is a phrase I’ve heard tossed round to explain its skilled management.) Final yr, The New Yorker—which, like Vainness Honest, is owned by Condé Nast—got here perilously near a strike throughout its personal tussle with the Guild. Which is to say, even when the prospect of Occasions journalists strolling off the job indefinitely could seem distant, it’s hardly fanciful.
Will Fox and Information Corp Reunite?