Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.