Chris Licht, who officially took over at CNN on May 2, said in a recent memo that he agrees with criticism from ‘people both inside and outside the organization’ that the banners are overused on TV, Axios reported.
‘It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience,’ he wrote. ‘We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers.’
Licht said that CNN bureau chief Sam Feist had led a review to determine best practices for use of the Breaking News label, and added new rules to the network’s stylebook, or internal editorial guidelines.
Chris Licht, who officially took over at CNN on May 2, said in a recent memo that he agrees with criticism that he agrees with criticism the network overuses ‘Breaking News’ graphics
‘It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience,’ wrote Licht. Above,
‘It certainly will need tweaks, so we are open to feedback, but this is a great starting point to try to make ‘Breaking News’ mean something BIG is happening,’ said Licht of the new rules.
Both fans and critics of CNN embraced the move in remarks on Twitter, with many journalists tweeting word of the change with the joking label ‘BREAKING NEWS’.
‘About time!’ wrote public relations professional Joe Hansen. ‘I think the “Breaking News” banner has been on CNN for 2.5yrs straight!’
Licht assumed the former role of ousted CNN boss Jeff Zucker following the formation of the network’s new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, through a $43 billion merger.
The CEO of the new parent company, David Zaslav, has previously said that he wants to see CNN move away from sensationalism and partisan commentary, and back toward hard news.
Board member John Malone has shared similar sentiments, saying last year: ‘I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with.’
In his recent memo, Licht also announced CNN is creating a new unit called ‘Guns in America,’ to cover gun violence, according to CNBC.
CNN’s new head honcho has issued orders for the network to tone down the use of ‘Breaking News’ graphics, warning they have lost their impact from overuse
Licht said that CNN bureau chief Sam Feist had led a review to determine best practices for use of the Breaking News label
Licht also said that he plans to craft a new organizational structure at CNN but will ‘make decisions slower than some would like’ given management changes.
‘I know this organization has been through tremendous change,’ said Licht.
‘I am approaching this process slowly and thoughtfully as we look at all parts of the operation. We will realign where it makes sense to best serve our people and the business.’
Zucker departed the network abruptly in February after revealing that he had failed to disclose a consensual romance with his top lieutenant Allison Gollust.
Following the WarnerMedia merger with Discover, CNN’s paid streaming service CNN+ was abruptly axed weeks after launch as part of a cost-cutting strategy focused on promoting HBO Max.
And last month, Meredith Artley, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, announced that she would be departing the network in a memo to staffers.
Zucker departed the network abruptly in February after revealing that he had failed to disclose a consensual romance with his top lieutenant Allison Gollust (right in 2011)
The CEO of the new parent company, David Zaslav, has previously said that he wants to see CNN move away from sensationalism and partisan commentary
Artley left just a month after CNN digital lead Andrew Morse, who headed the failed streaming service CNN+, also left the network.
CNN+ had promised to be a new frontier in the news business, offering original programming separate from what the company airs on its news channel.
One top producer even went as far to call the streaming service CNN’s Apollo Mission – comparing it to the successful moon landing, the Wall Street Journal reports, and network recruiters told potential hires it was prepared to spend $1 billion over four years on the endeavor.
But after Zaslav found out that it was only being streamed by 5,000 to 10,000 people at any given moment – he decided to pull the plug.
By April 21, Licht told staff that CNN+ was ending.