ZoomedThe national news media leadership changes we’ve been waiting for are finally starting to take shape, with CBS News, Reuters ($), and ABC News making announcements; and Patrick Soon-Shiong saying the LA Times is close to a decision on its new chief editor.

Reporters and journo pundits also got fired up about Substack (which we’ve been talking about for months) and an inside look at the power dynamics at The Wall Street Journal. We filter the news around vaccine blood clots, with some levity from Dr. Vivek Murthy. And in M&A news, former SDNY U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s podcast media company CAFE got a new home.

When we last talked about CAFE, it was for the introduction of a new podcast by Lowenstein Sandler LLP Special Counsel Elie Honig. The former federal and state prosecutor is now regularly “breaking down the headlines at the intersection of law and politics.”

In bite-sized fashion, here are this week’s selected Movers & Shakers:

  • CBS News President Susan Zirinsky “is in discussions for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year.”
    • To succeed her, the organization is combining CBS News and CBS Television Stations and naming Hearst Newspapers, Cable Networks & Digital Media Executive Neeraj Khemlani and former ABC-Owned Television Stations Group President Wendy McMahon as presidents and co-heads of the new division.
  • Reuters named Alessandra Galloni as its next editor-in-chief, the first woman to lead the globe-spanning news agency in its 170-year history.
    • What may have gone unnoticed in that announcement was this sentence: The executive who runs the news business, Reuters President Michael Friedenberg, is pushing to increase sales and boost profitability. Yesterday, Reuters said it was moving content behind a paywall. It didn’t give a timeline but did mention a 5-free-article limit and a $34.99/month rate.
  • Kim Godwin will be president of ABC News, the first Black woman to run a broadcast television news division. Business Insider’s Claire Atkinson reports two sources said Godwin was offered a co-president’s role inside CBS News.
  • A CBS statement reads: Peter Dunn, president of the CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, senior VP of news for the stations group, will not return to their positions and will be leaving the company. On an interim basis, Bryon Rubin [COO, CBS Entertainment Group] will continue to run the stations group while Godwin [mentioned above] will continue her oversight of stations’ news operations until new leadership is in place.
  • CNN Producer Rebekah Metzler now runs CNN newsgathering out of Washington on all the federal agencies, including HHS, DHS, HUD and more.
  • NPR made an interesting hire, naming Marta Ross vice president for government and external affairs. Ross has been representing the Defense Logistics Agency to members of Congress and their staff. Before that, she was acting director of congressional affairs at the U.S. Agency for Global Media. NPR states:

The Policy and Representation team is critical to promoting and defending the public funding that strengthens and supports the public radio network, and in their advocacy for legislation that protects public radio journalists and the freedom of the press.

In News of Note:

  • Our own Christian Thornton reports the Biden administration is preparing for the next war with cybersecurity appointments.
    • Another mass shooting shows there’s another war at home to contend with as well. CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto says there have been at least 45 mass shootings in the last month since the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16.
  • Matt Gaetz is running a media campaign, but not for an election.
  • Deep Dive: Learn more about the history, technology and geopolitical side of the semiconductor space.
  • Section 230: Twitter suspended James O’Keefe of Project Veritas. Bloomberg’s William Turton is following the story.
  • Edmund Lee has insider news media reporting on a possible power struggle that’s stalling the evolution of Big 3 member WSJ.
    • Its main readers are literally dying & digital strategy appears flat but editors cite record profits/subs. They say there’s a need for debate. Is change coming?
    • Employees say coverage needs to expand for women, people of color and younger professionals.
    • Meanwhile, Lee reports News Corp. is reportedly looking at consolidation.
  • Poynter has some personal news.
  • Journalists are citing burnout as reason for exiting the business. We may see more of this as the pandemic eases in the U.S.
  • The Capitol insurrection is still top of mind with new information flowing. Frontline, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program teamed up to analyze the story. It’s quite the culmination of three years of collaborative reporting on political extremism. Here’s the trailer, which links to the full video: American Insurrection.
  • CBS This Morning got some vaccine blood clot context with typical Zoom interruptions. Doctors are already implementing guidance.
  • And Substack is in all the mentions, as we’ve been mentioning in this intelligence briefing for months. Why We’re Freaking Out About Substack. More reading: Sovereign Writers and Substack

While we’re figuring out ways to evolve news media with sustainable economic models, remember to crunch the numbers.

Baz Hiralal

Baz Hiralal

Managing Editor, Thought Leadership