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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Major changes are underway in the very top ranks of the biggest broadcast networks, which despite ratings declines, still drive many millions of viewers and billions in revenue.

Why it matters: Network television was for years considered the bastion of news and entertainment, but it's facing massive viewership declines and is losing top talent to big tech companies, like Netflix and Amazon. Abrupt leadership exits are further compounding those problems.

  • NBC: Longtime NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt is leaving the network after nearly eight years, citing a desire to explore new challenges. At the same time NBC News Chairman Andy Lack (who sits on the board of Axios) has faced criticism over the network's handling of sexual misconduct. One of the network's top anchors, Matt Lauer, was fired after allegations of sexual misconduct earlier this year, as was one of the network's top producers.
  • Disney/ABC: Disney's top media boss Ben Sherwood will exit the company after Disney (ABC's parent company) completes its acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox, leaving the fate of some of ABC's executives unclear. The company lost top network producers like Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris to Netflix earlier this year.
  • Fox: What's left of Fox Broadcasting Network, which will mostly be news and sports programming, will be run by a slew of presumably new and old executives, potentially including Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman, who is rumored to be staying. Leaders like Fox Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice, Fox Television Group Chairwoman and CEO Dana Walden and FX Networks CEO John Landgraf will depart the company for Disney after the completion of the merger.
  • CBS: Longtime executive Les Moonves was ousted this summer after reports of allegations of sexual harassment Then one of CBS' top producers left after misconduct charges. Both instances happened just months after Charlie Rose was fired after sexual misconduct allegations. The network is under serious pressure and scrutiny to address a culture of misogyny and misconduct. It's board is conducting investigations.
  • Univision: Univision CEO Randy Falco has retired and is serving as an advisor through the end of the year amid cancelled IPO plans. Turbulence at the network, including a restructuring, resulted in a number of top executives being let go, including Fusion Media Group CEO Felipe Holguin. Other top executives, like Chief Revenue Officer Tonia O’Connor and Chief Content Officer Isaac Lee also announced their departures this summer.

Yes, but: Changes to the media landscape are impacting executives at many media-related businesses, not just network TV. Tech companies, talent agencies, and advertising firms have all been losing or transitioning top talent.

The bottom line: While executives come and go regularly, no one can remember a time when there was so much change and turmoil at the top of all of the networks.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.