CNN Has Left The Building

I’ve had a long term love affair with CNN. I love that it was based in Atlanta instead of NYC. It added a whole different character to its reporting. Then there was its early use of cellular phone reporting.

And in 1980, Bernard Shaw left ABC for CNN where he became the first African American national news anchor. If he had stayed at ABC, he’d would have been — no disrespect — Lester Holt and not Nixonian Diane Sawyer.

CNN had mostly held onto its hard news roots while consistently covering progressives and African Americans  (in front of and behind the cameras). Until now.

Jeff Zucker formerly of NBC is now running CNN. Awesome interviewer Soledad O’Brien is gone. She didn’t let people off the hook. (Here you go. Take notes. The morning show will now be hosted by Chris Cuomo. Crickets. Much more crucially, Executive Vice President Mark Whitaker has stepped down.

What can we expect from the new CNN? No more liberal slant? Perhaps. I’m more upset about the decline of hard news. And if Zucker’s tenure at NBC is any indication, POC executives in meaningful roles will be very few and far between. And when you don’t have diverse newsroom leadership, you don’t get diverse coverage. Period. And you can be sure that things like this will happen:

Some of the reported changes are troubling:

“The changes are part of Zucker’s larger effort to transform CNN from an old, tired, 24-hour breaking news channel into an entertaining, personality-driven network that no longer restricts the definition of news to ‘war, famine, pestilence and politics.’” (Read more:

Undefended gains are temporary. Those who don’t take ownership of the house can be evicted at any time.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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