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.”