Ticker: Phil Mattingly, Mehdi Hasan, Trump Interview, Godwin

By Mark Mwachiro 

  • CNN has found a new role for Phil Mattingly. On Thursday, the network named him CNN anchor/chief domestic correspondent. In this role, Mattingly, the former CNN This Morning co-anchor, will appear across CNN platforms and dayparts, delivering enterprise reporting and continuing to anchor on a fill-in basis across CNN. He will also participate in special coverage during the 2024 conventions and political special event programming. His first assignment will be covering former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. CNN is still discussing a new role for Mattingly’s former co-anchor Poppy Harlow.
  • Mehdi Hasan announced on Thursday morning that he is launching a digital media company called Zeteo, from the Greek word meaning “to seek.” The subscription-based company will cost $6 monthly and feature a weekly streaming show hosted by Hasan, newsletters, a podcast and outside contributor pieces. Speaking to The Washington Post, Hasan said, “No one really on the progressive left has been able to pull off anything similar.” Last week, Hasan was named a regular columnist for The Guardian.
  • Fox News announced that primetime host Sean Hannity will be interviewing former President Donald Trump on Thursday, Feb. 29. The interview will take place during Hannity’s show at 9 p.m. ET and will originate from Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, TX, where the former president will be visiting the southern border. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will also join Hannity to discuss the border, among other issues.
  • Meanwhile, ABC News president Kim Godwin is speaking out after the former president’s recent remarks concerning Black voters, which she described in an internal memo to staff as “as racist as they come.” Godwin was referencing a comment Trump made while speaking to a South Carolina audience, saying, “I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time and a lot of people said that that’s why the Black people like me.” Godwin stated in her note, “No matter one’s politics, the fact that a person running for President of the United States made these remarks period—but also to a public crowd—and with so many Black people present—and that they stand with him—is mind-blowing. Shocking.”
  • On Wednesday, ABC News launched a new podcast series titled “Pop Culture Moms,” hosted by best-selling author Andie Mitchell and GMA producer Sabrina Kohlberg. Each week, the two best friends will bring a fresh perspective to parenting by delving into the lessons and insights offered by fellow pop culture “scholars” on the fictional moms we love (or love to hate) the most. Mitchell and Kohlberg will sit down with celebrity moms in thoughtful, hilarious and candid conversations around parenting themes, including everything from the Cool Mom trope popularized by the 2004 film Mean Girls to the tricky aspects of mother/daughter relationships, all while exploring the comedy of what parenthood is like in real life. The first episode is now available.
  • The CNN Grill is back. The popular hangout/restaurant experience will be back during the GOP and Democratic conventions taking place during the summer. CNN and Politico are partnering this time around on the grill, which will be known as the CNN-Politico Grill, and will offer invited, credentialed VIPs and attendees access to the ultimate convention destination where lawmakers, reporters, celebrities and politicos meet to make news and conversation over bites from a custom, curated menu specific to each city. The Grill will host various programs and special events throughout the day at each convention and will open nightly, with times announced later.
  • Newsmax has named Chuck Horvath as vp of broadcast engineering and James Clough as director, broadcast IT. Horvath will oversee all engineering for Newsmax and its sister streaming channel, Newsmax2. Clough will handle the IT infrastructure for our channels. Horvath joined Newsmax from Fox Weather, where he served as lead engineer. Clough was previously solutions architect/support engineer for the broadcast and media division of Rohde & Schwarz.