April 26, 2023
Media Publications and Programming Reeling in New Upheaval
Major changes are shaking up the media landscape. Fox News parted ways with its highest-rated television host, Tucker Carlson, following revelations from the recent Dominion lawsuit. Don Lemon’s 17-year tenure at CNN ended after a slew of controversies plagued the cable news personality. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was ousted after the former executive was investigated for workplace misconduct.
Newsrooms are experiencing upheaval with more layoffs and closures. BuzzFeed announced it will shutter its news division. Business news mainstay Insider is cutting one-tenth of its workforce—the news comes after reports the company is beginning to implement AI into content development. Sports broadcaster ESPN is also shedding jobs, with parent company Disney continuing to cut down following last month’s ABC News layoffs.
Tech Companies Make More Changes
Tech platforms and companies continue changing products and policies. TikTok is tackling misinformation by removing content that misleads on climate change. Meta-owned WhatsApp is allowing users to keep disappearing messages with sender approval. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s new decentralized social media app Bluesky has launched on Android.
Twitter’s botched blue checkmark revamp resulted in verification for accounts that did not sign up. Snapchat is receiving backlash for its new app-integrated AI chatbot that users can’t opt out of. Microsoft is removing Twitter from its advertising platform after the social media company announced paid plans for API access. Reddit is following Twitter’s lead with plans to also charge users for access to large datasets—a step it calls necessary to prevent AI chatbots from training on its data.
Workers are Gaining Momentum with Big Wins
From a proposed ban on noncompete clauses to a renewed labor movement, workers are gaining momentum. While the past year has seen organizing success at Amazon and Starbucks, service sector employees aren’t the only workers winning labor battles. Contractors at YouTube Music are set to vote on unionization, and a political PR firm recently started collective bargaining conversations. Following media layoffs at Insider, the company’s union organized a walkout led by hundreds of workers.
The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled non-disparagement clauses unlawful, empowering workers and expanding transparency. Despite progress, corporate interests are pushing back. Business groups are heavily lobbying the FTC to withdraw its noncompete ban proposal, while reports reveal NBCUniversal directed managers to defeat union drives.
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