Ticker: Joy Reid Scores First Cable Interview with Brittney Griner, Layoffs Sweep Through The Weather Channel

By Ethan Alter 

Top of the Ticker: MSNBC’s Joy Reid has a busy couple of days coming up. After spending Saturday night with fellow anchor Rachel Maddow Live at the Apollo, The ReidOut host kicks off the week by sitting down with Brittney Griner for the WNBA star’s first on-air cable news interview since being released from Russian prison in December 2022. Griner wrote about the experience in her just-published book, Coming Home, including a gripping account of her time in a remote labor camp. Reid’s exclusive interview will air in two parts on Monday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 7 starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Stormy Weather: The Weather Channel is reportedly about to weather a wave of layoffs as part of a larger workforce reduction at the Byron Allen-owned Allen Media Group. Allen purchased The Weather Channel in 2018, bringing it under an umbrella that also includes a number of local TV stations and digital properties like TheGrio. “Allen Media Group is making strategic changes to better position the company for growth that will result in expense and workforce reductions across all divisions of the company,” a spokesperson told TVNewser in a statement. “Allen Media Group’s brands continue to perform well and in many areas our revenue growth has greatly outpaced the market. We are aligning these changes to drive future business opportunities and support our growth strategies in our rapidly evolving industry.”

The NFL Network has similarly been cutting back on staff in recent months, with Pro Football Hall of Famer-turned-analyst Michael Irvin becoming the most recent free agent. The three-time Superbowl champ first joined the network in 2009, making regular appearances on Sunday’s GameDay Morning. The network is also scrapping the long-running series NFL Total Access, with the final program expected to air on May 17.

Pathfinder: Election season is inching ever closer and Scripps News wants to make sure you’re prepared. On May 6, the network is launching Scripps News Reports: The Path to the White House, a 10-week series that will cover all of the issues that President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will be talking about on the campaign trail. Reproductive rights will take center stage in the first week of shows, followed by such hot-button issues as health care and gun rights.

Down to the Wire: Just as the exclusivity window for talks between Skydance Media and Paramount Global is about to close, Apollo Global Management and Sony Pictures are swooping in with an all-cash $26 billion offer. While Paramount head Shari Redstone is known to favor the Skydance deal, shareholders might advocate for this new offer, which would likely see Sony absorbing Paramount, thus reducing the number of major Hollywood studios from five to four. What’s less certain is what would happen to CBS and CBS News under Apollo/Sony ownership, but Apollo’s investment in other TV properties—including the Cox Media Group—suggests they’d have a plan.

Perry Farrell reveals the story behind Lollapalooza in a new Paramount+ series. (Courtesy Paramount+)

Back to the ’90s: Break out your best flannel and Hypercolor combos because it’s time to head 30 years into the past. On May 21, Paramount+ is premiering the three-part docuseries Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza, which reveals the wild and crazy story behind the generation-defining music festival founded by Perry Farrell. The Jane’s Addiction frontman is naturally front and center in the series, along with other stalwarts of the ’90s music scene.