Updated Jun 2, 2022 - Economy

CNN cutting back on over-hyping everything as "breaking news"

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

CNN's new boss Chris Licht says that beginning today, CNN has added a "Breaking News” guideline to its stylebook, to address overuse of the breaking news banner across its network and cable news writ-large.

Why it matters: Licht and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav have made it a priority to dial back on partisan programming at CNN in favor of traditional journalism.

  • “We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers,” he said in the note obtained by Axios.
  • "You’ve already seen far less of the 'Breaking News' banner across our programming."

Details: Licht said he agrees with complaints from "people both inside and outside the organization" that the network overuses the "Breaking News" banner.

  • "It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience."
  • To address the issue, CNN bureau chief Sam Feist has led a team in building out "Breaking News" guidelines for CNN's stylebook, per the note.
  • "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," Licht wrote.

The big picture: Zaslav and mentor and investor John Malone have been public about their push to bring CNN back towards hard news coverage, and away from progressive commentary.

  • Noting that the network is focused on "informing" and the truth, he said, "The tenor of our voice holistically has to reflect that."
  • "[W]e must be vital, relevant, and respected – and how we show up for our audiences, in every story, in every part of the country, and around the world, matters."
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