New CNN Boss Prepared To Fire Partisan Talent In Favor Of Straight News


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CNN, in an apparent bid to return to its largely unbiased news reporting of the 1990s and early 2000s, could be set for major talent shake-ups, according to a report on Tuesday.

According to a report from Axios, new CNN chief Chris Licht is “evaluating” the network’s current stable of on-air talent, likely to determine who will fit with programming tailored to be less partisan.

“CNN’s new boss, 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, adding that sources indicated jobs could be on the chopping block in the wake of those evaluations.

“If talent cannot adjust to a less partisan tone and strategy, they could be ousted,” the outlet continued.

The Daily Wire noted:

Axios also noted that Licht appears ready to give current employees and on-air talent some room to prove that they can adapt to a less combative presentation, encouraging them to engage in thoughtful interviews with people on both sides of the aisle — something that got progressively rarer leading up to and during former President Donald Trump’s time in office.

And while former CNN head Jeff Zucker — who resigned after admitting to an undisclosed relationship — appeared to encourage a more partisan presentation, Licht has made it clear that he sees the network going in a completely different direction.


To that end, The New York Times reported on Sunday that the network is also preparing to do away with its snarky, partisan chyrons while adding a much softer touch to the “Breaking News” banner.

“CNN’s ubiquitous ‘Breaking News’ banner is gone, now reserved for instances of truly urgent events,” the Times reported.

“Snarky onscreen captions … are discouraged. Political shows are trying to book more conservative voices, and producers have been urged to ignore Twitter backlash from the far right and the far left,” the report added.

Besides weathering several recent scandals involving Zucker and former prime-time host Chris Cuomo, the network’s launch of a subscription streaming service, CNN+, was a dismal failure, shuttering less than a month after it debuted.

Recently, former CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin took her former network to task over the manner in which certain events were covered (or not covered).

In particular, Baldwin complained about an incident regarding the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in 2018, in which network producers dumped that coverage to focus on something regarding then-President Donald Trump.

The column, “Don’t Let the Cameras Turn Away,” urged networks to continue covering the story of mass shootings.

“This week, for the first time in my career, I found out about a mass shooting in America just like most of you: not from a TV producer breaking into my earpiece on live TV, or a CNN internal email alert, or from someone shouting in the newsroom, but from a friend,” Baldwin wrote, referring to the Uvalde, Texas massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead.

Fox News adds:

Baldwin then detailed her role in CNN’s coverage of the Parkland school shooting that occurred as the network had become known for dedicating the majority of its time to negative coverage of Trump. In the days immediately following the shooting, CNN producers made a decision to cut away and cover news about the former president. 

“One of my producers interrupted our broadcast from Florida and spoke into my earpiece. News was breaking about President Donald Trump and the FBI. My producer assured me that we’d return to coverage in Parkland, but that right then—I’ll never forget it—‘we have to break away to go live to Washington.’ But. But. But. Fourteen students were dead. I stood there dumbfounded,” she wrote.


“A teacher from the school was just out of camera range, waiting to join me for a five-minute live interview. I used the pause in coverage to tell her what was happening and told her that we’d get to her, that her story mattered. But I already knew then that they weren’t coming back to us.”

The former CNN host recalled waiting outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to continue covering the shooting until CNN’s leadership team ordered her to leave South Florida and scrap the story.

“I waited to reappear on my own show, furiously emailing my producers back at CNN headquarters to fight for more airtime on what was happening at Parkland: Come back to me. The teacher! Soon after, I got my marching orders: Come back to New York. I knew what that meant. We were done,” she wrote.

Baldwin also detailed other mass shootings she covered during her time at the network before making a prediction about media coverage of the tragedy.

“Some journalists will try to hold our elected representatives’ feet to the fire. A segment or two will go viral. Americans will share their outrage on social media. And then another story will break next week, and the news cycle will move on,” Baldwin wrote.

“After a week or 10 days, the outraged public grows tired of hearing about the carnage, loss, and inaction. The audience starts to drop off. The ratings dip. And networks worry about their bottom line. And while the journalists in the field have compassion for the victims of these tragic stories, their bosses at the networks treat the news as ratings-generating revenue sources,” she continued.

“No ratings? Less coverage. It’s as simple as that,” she added before suggesting the showing of the bloodied victims on air in order to make the message hit home with viewers.

“Would minds change about guns in America if we got permission to show what was left of the children before they were placed in the caskets? Would a grieving parent ever agree to do this? I figured this would never happen. But perhaps now is finally the time to ask,” she wrote.

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