Similar to 2021, 2022 was a transitional year for the TV news business.
Cable and broadcast news outlets continue to be impacted significantly by the evolution in how many Americans consume the news—via streaming platforms and online news outlets—resulting in Nielsen ratings among viewers under 55 continuing to decline. There’s also the issue of a roller coaster economy that has influenced brands to spend less on advertising on news, and decreases in ad revenue causing executives to make difficult decisions on the staffing front.
Speaking of staffing, CNN appointed a new chief executive in Chris Licht to replace Jeff Zucker this past February. Zucker was forced to exit the network after failing to disclose a romance with his direct report, communications and marketing head Alison Gollust. Licht and the Warner Bros. Discovery powers that be promptly shut down the subscription streaming news platform CNN+ the previous regime spent millions of dollars and effort on; and CNN has laid off scores of staffers as WBD mandates significant cost cutting across all of its brands.
CNN is also embarking on a shift in coverage and tone, a notable move that could potentially alienate a chunk of the network’s core viewer base (but potentially bring in some new ones). Licht also tapped his former CBS News colleague Ryan Kadro to lead a new morning show, CNN This Morning, co-hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. The program has struggled in the ratings department (as brand new shows often do), but has earned some notable scoops so far. Really too early to tell.
MSNBC president Rashida Jones named Alex Wagner 9 p.m. host for Tuesday-Fridays, with Rachel Maddow moving to Mondays-only as part of her new NBCUniversal deal. This resulted in so-so Nielsen ratings for the network’s 9 p.m. hour in 2022. In fact, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell is averaging the most total viewers of any MSNBC program in recent months.
ABC News’ president Kim Godwin has been grappling with how to properly handle a previously-undisclosed romance between co-hosts.
KC Sullivan replaced longtime chairman Mark Hoffman as head of CNBC earlier this year. and promptly cut Shepard Smith’s nightly newscast in favor of more business-focused fare at 7 p.m.
In addition to these moves, TV newsroom leaders have had to navigate their respective newsroom’s coverage of major stories in 2022 like the war in Ukraine, the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, the 2022 Midterm Elections, the Jan. 6 committee hearings and many more that defined a chaotic year in media.
We caught up with network presidents and talent earlier this month to reflect on 2022, how their shows and networks may evolve in 2023, as well as the impact of streaming on their respective businesses.
Now, we’re asking you to predict what will happen across the industry in 2023.
We’ll reveal the 2022 TVNewser Challenge results later in the week, but first, we’re sharing the 2023 TVNewser Challenge!
Voting ends Jan. 13, 2023. Good luck!