The Yr in Media: 7 Cliff-Hangers to Preserve You in Suspense because the Ball Drops

Can Chris Licht Flip CNN Round?

Licht’s confidantes and advisers should have been beaming when James Stewart’s long-awaited New York Instances 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. However, 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 massive streaming plans imploded. Its scores depart a lump within the throat. All of which means that Licht has his work minimize out for him. His to-do listing within the New Yr contains 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 staff, who noticed morale tank in the course of the rocky first eight months of Licht’s tenure.

Can The Washington Submit Stave Off a Mutiny?

Final we noticed Submit writer Fred Ryan, the pitchforks had been out as he retreated from a room filled with livid staff after he’d knowledgeable them—in spectacularly ham-fisted vogue—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 stories swirled hinting at friction between Ryan and the chief 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 business. And the brass, not like that of, say, The New York Instances, haven’t precisely evinced a transparent enterprise technique to revive the mojo. Is that this the identical Washington Submit that loved copious development 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 might begin to appear.

Will The New York Instances Avert a Strike?

On the time of this writing, Instances leaders and their greater than 1,300 staff within the NewsGuild remained at an deadlock in a tense and protracted bargaining course of, with the Guild reportedly rejecting a proposal to herald a federal mediator. This newest growth got here on the heels of a piece stoppage that left the Instances, for twenty-four hours no less than, with out the firepower of a giant phase of its journalistic corps. The one-day motion was a big escalation within the union’s struggle for increased salaries befitting not solely the realities of inflation, however the Instances’ ongoing prosperity. It could 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 Instances journalists strolling off the job indefinitely could seem distant, it’s hardly fanciful.

Will Fox and Information Corp Reunite?

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