What Jon Wald’s Departure Means to All Media

By Chris Ariens 

Marketwatch.com’s Jon Friedman thinks Jonathan Wald’s pending departure from CNBC, announced last week, sends a message that goes beyond CNBC

CNBC put a line in the sand for all media companies. It’s sending a message to the world that it wouldn’t pay up to keep Wald, one of the brightest executives around. People in the TV-news business tell me a sea change is coming in how the industry’s stars will be compensated.

On-air reporters and anchors may seek long-term contracts at reduced wages, instead of trying to cram all the money they can into one-year deals. What this means to the public is that journalism quality is going to sink.

TV stations will try to hire younger, less experienced, less sophisticated news professionals as a way to keep costs down. Meanwhile, the journalists should have no illusions, either. If CNBC could turn its back on its top news official, who’s to say it wouldn’t do the same with anyone at the network not named Maria Bartiromo.