According to Jon Nicosia, former managing editor of Mediaite and current president of News Cycle Media, Brian Stelter’s time left at CNN might be short, as he’s claiming on Twitter that the “The Potato” only has weeks left.
Nicosia, posting on that in a two-part tweet threat on the night of June 15th, said:
They continue: “Management is confident Stelter is the one sharing the internal pushback to fellow media reporters while simultaneously stirring discontent within the ranks”
They continue: "Management is confident Stelter is the one sharing the internal pushback to fellow media reporters while simultaneously stirring discontent within the ranks"
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) June 15, 2022
As a reminder, CNN’s new management wants to move past the Zucker era at CNN both because it led to a dramatic decline in CNN’s fortunes, culminating in the $300 million boondoggle that was CNN+, and because the rampant partisanship of that time period led to CNN being closer and closer intertwined with the Democratic Party, losing any semblance of objectivity.
The new management wants to make CNN a respected name in news again and thus is focusing on telling its partisan hosts of the Stelter sort that they either need to become objective or get lost, with the new focus at CNN being objective reporting and telling the truth rather than constantly pushing partisan talking points.
News on that came from Axios, which reported that CNN’s new management has ordered its hosts to be less partisan, with the new boss “evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan.”
That seems doubtful, particularly in the case of Stelter and others like him, so perhaps Nicosia is right and Stelter is soon to be gone.
An example of what CNN’s new management wants to pull away from is the hosts pushing a Democrat talking point: “the Big Lie”. They use that term, as all Democrats now do, to reference Trump’s 2020 election claims.
According to Mediaite, new CNN president Chris Licht is pressing staff to move away from that term due to it being an obviously partisan talking point, being the exact same term that Democrats use. That outlet, reporting on what he wants instead, notes that:
On a Tuesday conference call with management and show executive producers, Licht was asked for his thoughts on “the big lie,” and said he preferred that staff avoid the term. He made clear this was a preference, not a mandate, but staffers have taken it as a clear directive from the new boss.
He encouraged producers to instead use the terms “Trump election lie” or “election lies” in banners and graphics.
According to a source, Licht argued that using “the big lie” makes the mistake of adopting branding used by the Democratic Party, thereby weakening the objectivity of the network.
Partisanship aside, it makes sense that the new management would want to push out Stelter, as he’s just not doing well. According to a recent Fox News report, for example, “Reliable Sources also struggled in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging only 73,000 viewers from the critical category….It was Stelter’s smallest audience since Sept. 15, 2019.”
So, even if Stelter gets his act in gear and suppresses his partisan impulses, perhaps he’ll still be gone on account of just how unwatched his show is.