CNN plays down the hype of everything as ‘breaking news’

CNN’s new chief Chris Licht says that starting today, CNN has added a “Breaking News” guideline to its style book, to address overuse of the news banner breaking news on their network and cable news to a large extent.

Why it matters: Licht and the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, have made it a priority to reverse CNN’s partisan programming in favor of mainstream journalism.

“We are truthful, focused on informing, not alarming, our viewers,” he said in the note obtained by Axios. “You’ve seen a lot less of the ‘Breaking News’ banner in 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 staple across all channels and networks that its impact has been lost on the audience.” To address the issue, CNN bureau chief Sam Feist has led a team to develop “Breaking News” guidelines for CNN’s stylebook, according to the memo. “It will definitely need tweaking, so we’re open to feedback, but this is a great starting point for trying to make ‘Breaking News’ mean something BIG is happening,” Licht wrote.

The big picture: Zaslav and mentor and investor John Malone have gone public about their push to bring CNN into hard news coverage and away from progressive commentary.

Noting the network’s focus on “reporting” and the truth, he said, “The tenor of our voice has to reflect that holistically.”[W]We need to be vital, relevant and respected, and how we present ourselves to our audience, in every story, in every part of the country and around the world, is important.”

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