February 20, 2023

Yet Another Scandal at CNN

Embattled network CNN has become the center of another alleged scandal, one year after former president Jeff Zucker resigned over his relationship with another executive.

Federico Quadrani, the executive producer of The Lead with Jake Tapper, looks to be following Zucker’s lead.

The CNN “golden boy,” known as “Fede” by his coworkers, was reportedly ousted from the network last week after it was revealed that he also had a relationship with a subordinate.

According to Page Six, Quadrani had nearly been cleared by an internal “investigation of sorts,” when Tapper was “presented with something he couldn’t ignore” by a staffer who found it “accidentally.”

Quadrani had actually worked under Zucker at MSNBC before moving to CNN in 2013.

CNN staffers were “shocked” by the news, per the outlet’s reporting.

Both Quadrani and the subordinate were “missing” from the network’s Washington office on Friday.

Source: Page Six

December 20, 2022

CNN Correspondent Passes Away

CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has died after a long battle with cancer.

Griffin died on Saturday. He was 60 years old.

“Drew’s death is a devastating loss to CNN and our entire profession,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said. “A highly acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had incredible impact and embodied the mission of this organization in every way.”

CNN anchor Don Lemon came to tears during his emotional announcement Monday morning, informing the viewers of Griffin’s passing.

Griffin was an award-winning journalist, earning Emmys, Peabodys and Murrows throughout his time at CNN.

“Fearless and artful at the same time, he knew how to push a story forward to its limits, but also tell it in a way that would make everyone understand,” said Michael Bass, CNN’s Executive Vice President of Programming. “How many times has he chased an unwilling interviewee? How many times has he spoken truth to power? How many times has he made a difference on something important … It was an honor to be his colleague and to be witness to his work and the ways it changed the world.”

Source: CNN

December 11, 2022

CNN Fires Slew of Hosts, Guts HLN Programming

CNN has fired a slew of on-air correspondents as part of the network’s latest string of cost-cutting measures.

Political analyst Chris Cillizza, who’s been with the network since 2017, was among those axed by the network.

Other prominent on-air talents that were cut by the network include Alison Kosik, Martin Savidge, Alex Field, and Mary Ann Fox.

CNN CEO Chris Licht also gutted HLN, the cable network formerly known as CNN Headline News, scrapping all of the network’s live programming. That includes longtime host Robin Mead, who’s been at the network since 2001. The “Morning Express with Robin Meade” production staff was also fired.

The pink slips came after Licht sent a company-wide memo on November 30 informing the staff that layoffs were underway.

Licht took over as head of the network in May, promising to implement changes to cut costs and revive the network’s poor ratings.

The cuts come as the network’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, vowed to investors that it would cut $3 billion in costs.

Source: Variety | New York Post | Daily Mail

December 1, 2022

CNN Announces Layoffs Amid “Difficult Time”

CNN CEO Chris Licht announced that the network had begun the process of laying off an unspecified number of employees.

“Our people are the heart and soul of this organization. It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many. I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us,” Licht wrote in a memo Wednesday morning.

“It will be a difficult time for everyone,” he added.

According to Licht’s memo, the job cuts will affect a limited number of people, largely paid contributors, as part of a recalibrated reporting strategy.

The layoffs come amid decreasing morale at the network, which has already undergone significant turnover this year.

In late October, Licht warned employees that the network would be undergoing a restructuring due to “widespread concern over the global economic outlook.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

November 21, 2022

CNN Reporters No Longer Allowed to Drink on the Job

CNN put the kibosh on its anchors drinking during its “New Year’s Eve Live” broadcast.

Variety reported that host Anderson Cooper will still be allowed to drink during the primetime broadcast from Times Square, but correspondents and anchors like Don Lemon will be required to stop.

Network chairman and CEO Chris Licht announced the change during a company town hall, saying that he was pulling the plug on the boozing that’s become a tradition of CNN’s New Year’s Eve programming.

Licht told employees that he believed on-air drinking diminished the credibility and “respectability” of CNN personnel.

Variety noted that Lemon previously led the network’s coverage after 12:30 a.m., when things get a bit rowdier. One year, Lemon had his ear pierced during the live broadcast. During last year’s show, he went on a rant, saying he was a “grown-a— man” who was “able to share my point of view on television and it freaks people out and you know what,” he said. “You can kiss my behind, I do not care. I don’t care.”

Lemon has previously insisted that he’s in complete control of his faculties while on camera.

“The idea is to have fun. What can I do that’s interesting and engaging for the audience?” he told Variety in 2018.  “I do realize if I’m going to get a tattoo, I am making that decision.”

Source: Variety

November 7, 2022

CNN Anchor Says Democrats “Don’t Want to Be Seen” with Biden

CNN anchor Don Lemon said Democratic Senate candidates clearly “don’t want to be seen” with President Joe Biden.

The “CNN This Morning” anchor and his cohosts, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, were discussing the latest poll numbers, which showed another dip in Biden’s popularity as well as lackluster numbers for multiple Democrat-held seats in both chambers of Congress. The 56-year-old noted that Democrats struggling in the polls have no desire to be spotted next to Biden on the campaign trail.

Collins said Biden’s declining approval numbers were “a big factor” behind the president’s minimal campaign stops leading up to the midterms.

“He is not going to the places that you’re seeing former President Obama go to,” she aid. “It’s because of that approval rating.”

“And a lot of people are not … you know, they don’t want to be seen with the president, quite frankly, and they don’t even want to answer the question about whether they should be running with him, or having him on the campaign trail, or if they’ll support him come 2024,” Lemon responded.

The few appearances Biden has made were marred by gaffes and inaccurate statements. His campaign stops for Democratic candidates have been so poorly received that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) jokingly offered to pay Biden to keep campaigning in the Sunshine State.

“I think it’s an in-kind contribution to my campaign,” DeSantis said of Biden’s stumping for his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. “I just want to make the offer publicly. We will underwrite him to stay in Florida for the rest of the campaign. If Joe wants to stay, it’ll be on our dime and we’d love for the people of Florida to be reminded that the Democrats in this state are with Biden 100% of the time.”

Source: The Daily Wire

October 9, 2022

CNN Anchor Takes Leave After “Internal Investigation”

Longtime CNN anchor Jim Sciutto has been absent from the airwaves after network bosses ordered him to take personal leave and address a “personal situation.”

Sciutto was the subject of an internal investigation earlier this year after he had a “serious fall” while in Amsterdam.

The anchor and his producer stopped in Amsterdam, where the fall took place, while traveling home from reporting on the conflict in Ukraine earlier this year, according to The Daily BeastSciutto was said to have recovered, but the incident prompted CNN to launch an internal investigation.

The outlet noted that the network had ordered Sciutto to take leave to deal with a “personal situation.”

As of this reporting, neither Sciutto nor CNN has made a public statement on the matter.

Source: Daily Mail | The Daily Beast

October 6, 2022

Trump Files $475M Lawsuit Against CNN

1949: President Harry Truman signs the Mutual Defense Assistance Act (for NATO).

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in a Florida federal court against CNN for defamation.

In the 29-page complaint, Trump’s attorneys allege that CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source — 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.”

Trump is seeking $475 million in punitive damages from the network.

The lawsuit claims that CNN “has undertaken a smear campaign to malign the Plaintiff with a barrage of negative associations and innuendos, broadcasting commentary that he is like a cult leader, a Russian lackey, a dog whistler to white supremacists, and a racist.”

The former president’s lawyers cited several of CNN’s anchors and pundits using the term “Big Lie” when referring to Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. The network did this to try to associate him with Adolf Hitler, the lawsuit alleges.

The network’s new president, Chris Licht, has made a few changes to CNN’s programming. He reportedly told network anchors that they should refrain from using the phrase “the big lie,” reasoning that it was too biased.

CNN has not commented on Trump’s lawsuit as of this reporting.

Source: The Hill

September 3, 2022

CNN Loses Another Reporter

Another liberal reporter has abruptly announced their departure from CNN.

White House correspondent John Harwood shared the news of his leaving the network on Twitter.

“Today’s my last day at CNN,” he wrote on Friday, adding that he was “proud of the work” he did with the network.

“I’ve been lucky to serve the best in American media,” he continued. “Look forward to figuring out what’s next.”

A network spokesperson told media outlets that CNN appreciates “John’s work covering the White House, and we wish him all the best.”

The Hill noted that Harwood is “the latest in a slew of top talent” that has left CNN as new network President Chris Licht’s vision takes shape. Licht has vowed to deliver a renewed commitment to objectivity and fairness, the outlet reported.

During his final day at CNN, Harwood commended President Joe Biden’s divisive speech about MAGA Republicans being a “threat to democracy.”

“The core point he made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true,” Harwood said on Friday. “That’s something that’s not easy for us, as journalists, to say. We’re brought up to believe there [are] two different political parties with different points of view, and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that’s not what we’re talking about. These are not honest disagreements. The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue.”

Sources: Fox News | The Hill

August 14, 2022

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin Announces Resignation

1842: Second Seminole War declared over by US Army Colonel Worth, after nearly 7 years; more than 3000 Seminole Nation survivors re-located from Florida to Oklahoma, only about 300 allowed to remain.

Longtime CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin announced that he’s leaving the network.

“Friends, I’ve decided that, after 20 years, I’m leaving CNN after my vacation,” Toobin wrote on Twitter.

“Was great to spend my last day on air with pals Wolf [Blitzer], Anderson [Cooper], and Don [Lemon]. Love all my former colleagues,” he added.

A CNN spokesperson confirmed Toobin’s departure, saying that the network is “grateful for Jeffrey’s contributions to the network over the years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Toobin, a legal analyst, was placed on leave in October 2020 after an incident in which he exposed himself during a Zoom call with his colleagues at The New Yorker. The outlet subsequently fired him.

When Toobin returned to CNN in June 2021, he said: “I’ve got a lot to rebuild. But I feel very privileged and lucky that I’m going to be able to try and do that.”

Source: The Hill

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