April showers bring May...?
Here are some of my columns and podcasts about the recent cable news chaos.
Welcome to May! Here’s a quick rundown of my recent reporting.
It’s hard to believe that the Dominion-Fox settlement happened twelve short days ago. In a post-deal column for Vanity Fair, I signaled that “one or more Fox personalities ensnared in the case will exit in the coming months,” but I did not think that one of the hosts would be Tucker Carlson. His ouster was an utter shock to the entire media industry. If you think about it as a breakup, though, it makes sense: It wasn't just one thing, it was everything – all the insults and disagreements and resentments added up and led Rupert Murdoch to dump him.
In the immediate aftermath of the Carlson news, I was interviewed by dozens of outlets, from NBC to NPR to the BBC. (Time to upgrade the old “home studio.”)
I wrote for VF about why his firing was so brutal and penned a guest essay for the NYT about what Carlson and Don Lemon’s terminations revealed about cable news. The takeaways: Cable’s power is in its reach and repetition, not ratings; and the networks, not the stars, are in charge.
While en route to DC for WHCA weekend parties, I filed a followup column for VF about both Carlson and Lemon, describing how the two very different men suddenly have a lot in common and revealing that they’ve been texting back and forth. (Speaking of Vanity Fair, the next edition of our “Inside the Hive” podcast will come out Thursday.)
In other news, I authored the May cover story of Los Angeles magazine, a deep dive into the sorry state of late-night TV. The reporting about “Late Late Show” losing millions of dollars a year prompted followup coverage and a response from Ben Winston via Matt Belloni’s podcast.
A few more notes:
» World Press Freedom Day is coming up this Wednesday. At the recent International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, I spoke about the links between press freedom, distrust, and safety. Here’s the video.
» The coronation of King Charles III takes place this Saturday. My wife Jamie is heading to London to cover the celebrations for NY1 and Spectrum’s channels across the country.
» Bluesky is all the rage now, but Twitter continues to be my main method for sharing media news. I just tweeted a scooplet about the post-Lemon plans for “CNN This Morning.”
» If you’re somehow not tired of this news cycle yet, you can hear more from me on the latest edition of “The Press Box” podcast from The Ringer.
And finally, a photo full of joy, which is the word that Sunny asked me to define today: Her little brother Story proudly reading a book during story-time.
Afterward, I tried to show him my NYT guest essay in the print edition, but alas, he was not impressed 🤣
All the best,