CNN has made several hires both on and off camera leading up to the launch of their streaming service, CNN+, which debuts next week. Furthermore, the network finds itself on the receiving end of a $125 million lawsuit by former anchor Chris Cuomo.
Also, the transition in leadership from former CNN President Jeff Zucker to incoming Chris Licht is causing the cable news channel’s parent company, WarnerMedia, to step back on its future.
The Daily Beast’s Source Material newsletter, which Barret News Media obtained, reports that WarnerMedia bosses have installed a hiring freeze throughout the company, including at CNN, until the Discovery/Warner deal is finalized.
However, the company will greenlight hirings that are “deemed critical to the network’s business operations” are going to proceed without any interruption. Furthermore, the report states that Licht was having dinner with Wendy McMahon, the current president and co-head of CBS News in Manhattan.
As a result, the newsletter speculates what type of hirings Licht has in mind when the “freeze” is lifted, considering the incoming president is likely to begin molding CNN into his vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree
The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters
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.”
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.