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News Television

Don Lemon: CNN Lost Its Backbone After Jeff Zucker Resignation

Lemon called Zucker the “backbone, the glue and the spirit of this company.”

Eduardo Razo

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Last week, the primary story across all news media was the resignation of former CNN President Jeff Zucker, who disclosed a consensual relationship with a fellow executive at the network.

CNN now has an interim group of leaders leading the cable news channel through this time. Despite some of the criticism coming at Zucker, anchor Don Lemon decided to stick up for his former boss, calling him the “backbone, the glue and the spirit of this company.”

“Personal message that I want to deliver at the top of the show,” Lemon said on Friday’s broadcast of “Don Lemon Tonight.” “Lots of folks have been watching, wondering what’s happening.”

“It’s been a really tough day today and a tough few days for us here at CNN. All week really. I didn’t want to talk about it until tonight. So, the truth is we’re all heartbroken because we lost our leader here.”

Lemon went on to thank Zucker for believing that he could handle the task of hosting a nightly news show on one of the major cable news channels in the country.

“We lost the man who was the backbone, the glue, and the spirit of this company. The man I personally credit with changing my life, a man who believed in me when nobody else did; he’s the reason that you have a gay Black man with two hours of primetime,” Lemon said.

“A show with my name on it. The only anchor of color in primetime on cable news. Think about that. You want to talk about diversity? Here it is: it has been hard to come into work this week, not only for me but for so many of us here at CNN, my colleagues – 3,000 of us. More than 3,000 of us.”

The CNN anchor also took the opportunity to talk to his colleagues who haven’t been around the company for as long as he has and saw the network’s ups and downs.

“So, let me just say this to my colleagues who may not have been here as long as I have, the younger folks, who haven’t weathered these storms: I’ve been at this network for almost 16 years. We have been through ups and downs, ratings highs, ratings lows. Everything,” Lemon said.

“Regime changes. We’ve been through a lot. And through it all, our mission has remained the same, to deliver the facts, to deliver the news. It is what we did when Ted Turner turned the lights on here. It is what we did through two Gulf wars, through 9/11, through Katrina, through an insurrection.”

News Television

CNN Asks Florida Judge to Toss Out Donald Trump’s Defamation Suit

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October; now, over a month later, the cable news channel is asking a judge in Florida to toss the case (h/t The Hill).

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump’s attorneys argued CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source.”

Additionally, Trump’s lawyer says that CNN attempted “to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

CNN lawyers have pushed back against Trump’s claims saying that the former president “seeks to silence any criticism of Plaintiff’s debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen.’”

“Any alleged association resulting therefrom are also ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘pure opinion’ under well-established principles of defamation law,” CNN’s lawyers added.

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News Television

Investor Cautions Over Possible Fox-News Corp. Merger

Irenic Capital, which owns about 2 percent of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger between Fox and News Corp.

Eduardo Razo

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Rumors have swirled over Fox and News Corp. possibly merging into one entity, but Irenic Capital, which owns about 2% of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger.

A merger would produce a more complicated company and turn off investors rather than increase the company’s lagging stock price, Irenic Capital stated in a letter to the News Corp. board.

“And even if such synergies do exist today, they would principally benefit Fox and reside in the News Media segment of News Corp,” Irenic Capital said (h/t Deadline). “For example, Fox Business may benefit from greater integration with The Wall Street Journal and some of Dow Jones’ other properties, but it is highly debatable whether the benefits from such an association flow both ways.

“Combining News Corp with Fox will result in a combined company that is obviously more complex than both companies left separate.” 

Irenic believes a unification would aid Fox far better than News Corp. and cautioned that the board has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate all possible routes to develop value beyond the one suggested by its primary shareholder.

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News Television

Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree

The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News held its annual All-American Tree Lighting at FOX Square in New York, New York Monday during “The Five.” The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

In a release, the network said it partnered with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to host a toy drive benefiting New York City’s youth. The network also honored first responders by selecting representatives of the FDNY and NYPD to light this year’s tree.

Guests included FOX News personalities and their families along with first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, including members of NYPD Precinct 32, who lost Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera this year, and members of EMS Station 49, who lost EMS captain Alison Russo earlier this year.

FOX’s All-American Christmas tree stands at 50 feet tall and is adorned by 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 lights. The tree has 500 branches, a star topper that is over six feet tall and more than four miles of cord wrapped throughout.  Made in America, the tree features a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue decorations.

“After a busy year in America, it’s nice to, let’s just take a step back and celebrate traditions like this and remember how important it is to come together and focus on what truly matters,” said co-host Dana Perino. “This tree is not just for us to enjoy. We want you watching at home to be able to come here and make Christmas memories with your family and friends and of course, your pets, too, of course, as you can imagine.”

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