Updated Sep 25, 2018

Network TV's leadership crisis

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

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 857,957 — Total deaths: 42,139 — Total recoveries: 178,091.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 188,547 — Total deaths: 3,899 — Total recoveries: 7,068.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health