A new report says Discovery’s board member John Malone will “play a huge role” in steering CNN back on course, specifically in a direction away from what previous network head Jeff Zucker delved the outlet into.
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”
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) February 23, 2022
In a November 2021 interview with CNBC, billionaire John Malone expressed his own opinions on the matter.
“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing. I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent,” he said at the time.
This transition process for CNN started back in May 2021 when parent company AT&T agreed to a merger of Warner Media with Discovery worth $43 billion dollars. This new company was agreed to be helmed by Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who vowed to keep CNN around.
According to Nicosia, Malone is planning to fire several of CNN’s most partisan hosts before the end of the spring.
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” https://t.co/yu1jWeuvPw
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) March 8, 2022
Malone is a shareholder in Discovery, as a point of reference for his stake in the transition deal.
The New Yorker profile of Malone calls him an adversary of Rupert Murdoch on one hand, but a libertarian who is one of the largest private landowners in the United States on the other. The outlet warns about the consolidation of media infrastructure that this WarnerMedia and Discovery merger has in store.
But this takes us back to the drama of CNN. With the ouster of Chris Cuomo and the subsequent removal of Jeff Zucker, the money to be had from the Discovery merger seems to intensify the former anchor’s litigation against his old job.
CNN’s linear ratings have declined noticeably in recent months. It has had no steady anchor in its critical 9 p.m. hour since Chris Cuomo’s ouster in December. And the March launch of a massive CNN Plus streaming-video hub comes as news subscribers have begun to defect from traditional sources like newspapers and cable networks.
The Atlantic blames the breach of ethics by Jeff Zucker as what ended the sterling reputation of CNN, and the fact that he ended up sleeping with someone at the company who themselves were connected to former Governor Andrew Cuomo at an earlier point in her career, and helped to prop up a pandemic-era charade.
But on a broader scale, the main dilemma facing CNN is getting people to tune in, in the first place.
Sources: Westernjournal, Dailymail, Wnd