WarnerMedia layoffs coming next week

warnermediaAT&T’s WarnerMedia is expected to begin employee reductions as early as next week, insiders told the Wall Street Journal. WarnerMedia is the parent of HBO, Warner Bros., and several cable news networks including CNN and HLN.

NBC Universal laid off under 10% of its 35,000 staff.

In June, AT&T laid off thousands of employees, eliminated as part of a $6 billion cost-cutting push. Now, they are turning their eyes to the WarnerMedia division . . .

Ana Navarro to host roundtable for Biden

ana-navarroOn Thursday, CNN Republican commentator Ana Navarro is scheduled to host a roundtable for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The fact she is a Republican talking head, supporting a Democratic candidate, has been raising some eyebrows in the usual circuits.

However, in May, Navarro confirmed she donated to Biden (“Damn right, I donated to Joe Biden”), so that she later hosts a campaign event for him shouldn’t be all that surprising. She is, after all, an adamant Never Trumper.

The roundtable is advertised as discussing “the important role Florida Hispanics will play in making Donald Trump a one-term president.”

CNN’s Facebook show Go There nears 1 billion views

facebook go thereCNN’s Facebook show, Go There, is nearing 1 billion views, reports MediaPost.

“Our audience comes to us for our access to the world and stays with us because of our authentic approach to storytelling,” Cullen Daly, CNN executive producer of digital productions, said. “We give you the facts and the context. We always aim to bring our users with us on the journey, so they know what it feels like to be there as we gather the news and tell the most relevant stories of the moment.”

The mobile-first news show relies on 94 international correspondents reporting from nearly 50 countries across six continents.

“Being able to use phones as a mechanism for storytelling makes us not only nimble, but authentic to the platform. It’s how our audiences like to consume our content,” Daly said.

The Facebook Watch program partners with publishers and pays them to produce shows exclusively for the Facebook platform.

Last June, CNN pulled Anderson Cooper Full Circle, its Facebook Watch show, and replaced it with Go There.

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell season premiere debuts at number one

631696842.0Last night’s season premiere of the CNN Original Series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, Where Do We Even Start with White Supremacy, airing 10-11:15pm, premiered at number one in cable news with 332,000 viewers, 55% more than Fox’s 214,000 and a 299% advantage over MSNBC 83,000, among adults 25-54.

In total viewers, United Shades surpassed MSNBC by wide margins averaging 1,190,000 total viewers vs. MSNBC’s 647,000.

This episode was the highest CNN Original Series premiere since Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown season 12 Kenya episode (358,000) among adults 25-54.

In prime time, CNN also ranked number one in cable news last night with 306,000, to Fox’s 215,000, and MSNBC’s 99,000 among adults 25-54. CNN easily outperformed MSNBC in total viewers last night as well (1,121,000 vs. 720,000).

Next Sunday, Bell heads to Oklahoma to explore how politics and economic disparity has impacted family and independent farming. The episode, All American Family Farms, will premiere at 10pm, ET on CNN.

Sportscaster Bob Costas joins CNN

c8d9197b5ae301b34d2af95c4607169570-09-bob-costas.2x.h473.w710CNN President Jeff Zucker announced Monday that former NBC sportscaster Bob Costas will be joining CNN as a contributor. Costas will provide commentary and his perspective on a wide range of sports-related issues as the industry adapts to new challenges posed by the coronavirus and the frequent intersection of sports with larger societal issues, according to the network.

“Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond,” Zucker said. “As the world continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that Bob’s insightful analysis will help our viewers better understand what the future holds as the sports and teams we love evolve to meet this moment.”

“I’m very pleased to join CNN’s roster of journalists and commentators. CNN’s willingness to devote time and attention to sports related topics, makes it a good fit for me,” Costas said.

The two previously worked together at NBC.

Ismael Cala returns to primetime with new show

calaFormer CNN en Español primetime anchor Ismael Cala is returning to television, beginning on Monday on MegaTV. The anchor departed CNN after 15 years in 2016.

His new show “will have guests, analysis, discussions on current events, fascinating stories, and a forum to put our current reality into context,” airing weekdays at 10pm.

“It will be one hour of information, not saturation. An intimate space where we go over what is happening currently, with an absorbing, taboo-free vision of the future. Positive journalism and entertainment in an audacious, agile, analytical, and bold combination. We want to create awareness and inject hope in a world that so desperately needs it, and to be astonished by the adventure,” Cala explained in the show’s announcement.

The show’s executive producer Amer Mercado said, “Prepare to be surprised every night, since the playfulness, journalistic experience, sense of humor, and the genuine personality and humanity of Cala will be the best choice to go to bed in the best way.”

Fareed Zakaria hosts “Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories” Monday night

200705104834-fareeds-take-7-5-2020-super-169On Monday at 9pm, CNN host Fareed Zakaria hosts a CNN Special Report, Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories, in place of Cuomo Prime Time. According to the network, “Donald Trump uses false conspiracy theories to damage perceived enemies, explain away poor polling numbers, or to cover up his own misdoings . . . Zakaria explores why some people are vulnerable to believing Trump’s conspiracy theories, and whether the damage the president has done to American institutions and global standing can be undone after he someday leaves office.”

The experts and historians guide viewers through other conspiracy theories and their propagators, from Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s (R-WI) ‘red scare’ of communists embedded in the federal government during the Cold War, to the prolific cottage industry of books, TV shows, movies, and other amateur ‘investigations’ that ‘explain’ the assassination of President John Kennedy, and other conspiracy theories.

Zakaria also discusses the challenge and the danger of America’s obsession with and susceptibility to conspiracy theories. Most importantly, Zakaria asks, is Trump setting up a series of conspiracy theories to ensure that tens of millions of people refuse to accept the outcome of the 2020 election and throw America into a constitutional crisis like it may never have seen before?

Interviewed for the special are Carol Anderson, Jeffrey Goldberg, Richard Hasen, Andrew Marantz, Russell Muirhead, and Tim Naftali.

Christi Paul stays home while her husband battles COVID

paulNew Day Weekend anchor and HLN correspondent Christi Paul has been staying home and nursing her husband while he battles COVID, she revealed on Instagram. Her co-anchor, Victor Blackwell, has been awaiting the results of his COVID test for twelve days. “I’m still waiting for results,” he said.

“Husband is positive with covid19. Girls & I are all negative,” Paul wrote on Instagram. “Haven’t been able to hold his hand or kiss his forehead . . . We all miss his presence at the dinner table, his laughter & his joshing us.”

Paul concluded, “But we know God gives us His strength when we’re weak & His wisdom when we’re confused & drained. This virus makes no sense. The testing, the paradigm, the transmission… I swear it’s all still a crapshoot.”

When she responded to a comment and offered an update, she said, “He’s actually a little worse today but it’s part of the ups & downs. He’s not in the hospital on a ventilator so I’ll take this. And I pray for everyone who is because this is rough.”