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Sara Fischer | Media scrambles for survival ahead of 2024

Newsroom Hurricane
Thought Leader: Sara Fischer
June 4, 2024
Source: AXIOS
Written by: Sara Fischer

This piece is by WWSG exclusive thought leader, Sara Fischer.

Newsrooms typically immersed in political coverage during a presidential election year are instead focused on saving their own businesses.

Why it matters: Major restructurings, layoffs and newsroom overhauls are unusual for America’s biggest news companies just months ahead of a highly anticipated presidential race.

Driving the news: The Washington Post on Sunday announced sweeping changes to its editorial structure and leadership, with its first-ever female executive editor Sally Buzbee stepping down to make way for Matt Murray, former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal.

Zoom in: The Post is one of several major newsrooms trying to find new readers willing to pay for their journalism online before their traditional products die out.

1. CNN began testing a new strategy last month that asks readers to submit personal data, like their email addresses, if they want to continue reading a certain amount of daily articles for free.

2. The Wall Street Journal, similarly, has undergone massive changes to its editorial structure under new editor Emma Tucker, including layoffs announced last week.

3. ABC News President Kim Godwin, the first Black woman to lead a major broadcast news division, stepped down in May after staffers began to lose confidence in her leadership.

The intrigue: Washington Post CEO Will Lewis came under intense fire at a staff meeting early Monday after the sudden announcement around Buzbee’s departure, Vanity Fair reports.

The big picture: More American media companies are focused on consumer revenue amid a weak advertising market and increasing threat from AI.

Between the lines: That often comes at the expense of diversity, and in many cases, includes a focus on British talent.

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