Media Insider: CNN Staffers Take Buyouts, CBS Replaces Lead Anchor, Reuters Reporters Freed in Myanmar

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

Time Warner CNN New York City - globe sculpture

VARIETY | STAFF WRITERS
More Than 100 CNN Staffers Take Buyouts as AT&T Pares Debt

More than 100 employees of WarnerMedia’s CNN have opted for buyouts as its parent company works to shed approximately $170 million in debt following its purchase of the former Time Warner Inc. CNN Worldwide recently offered a voluntary buyout option to staff and “just over 100” chose to exercise an option to use it. No staffers were laid off. Buyouts have been offered at other parts of WarnerMedia, which also includes HBO.

ICYMI: American Media quietly sidelines exec behind the Jeff Bezos “extortion” emails.

ADWEEK | SARA JERDE
Who Said Print Was Dead? 134 Magazines Have Launched Since the Start of 2017

“As some magazines have gone digital-only, other big publishers and brands have reversed course and leaned deeper into the ultimate lean back experience, print, with whole new publications,” according to the Adweek article. As audiences digest more news on screens, some magazines are investing more in print to cut through the digital noise and reach niche audiences. In all, 134 new print magazines launched having a frequency of quarterly or more in 2017, according to MPA, the Association of Magazine Media. Brands also have gotten on board and introduced magazines, including young companies like The Wing (No Man’s Land), Bumble (Bumble Mag), Away (Here), Dollar Shave Club (Mel), Casper (Woolly Magazine), and Airbnb (Airbnb Magazine).

Related: Some niche publishers see market research as a new revenue source.

NEW YORK TIMES | JOHN KOBLIN AND MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
CBS Names Norah O’Donnell as Lead Anchor, Signaling a New Era

At a gathering inside CBS News on Monday, the news division’s first female president, Susan Zirinsky, made an announcement that would signal a new era for the network. Gayle King will be the centerpiece of “CBS This Morning” and Norah O’Donnell was named the next anchor of “CBS Evening News,” becoming only the second woman to hold that role. Zirinsky pitched the changes as a fresh start after a painful period for the House of Cronkite, deeply impacted by declining ratings and workplace misconduct scandals involving Jeff Fager, the longtime leader of “60 Minutes,” and Charlie Rose, the former co-anchor of “CBS This Morning.” Absent from the scene was Jeff Glor, the current “CBS Evening News” anchor, whose 18-month tenure will soon end.

Of course, the announcement was not without its share of backstage drama, as reports surfaced that O’Donnell is getting paid much less than King.

REUTERS | SIMON LEWIS AND SHOON NAING
Two Reuters Reporters Freed in Myanmar After More than 500 Days in Jail

Two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar after they were convicted of breaking the Official Secrets Act walked free from prison on Tuesday after more than 500 days behind bars. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been convicted in September and sentenced to seven years in jail in a case that raised questions about Myanmar’s progress towards democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates. They were released under a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners. Before their arrest in December 2017, they had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State during an army crackdown that began in August 2017.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s highest court has rejected appeals from two prominent journalists jailed over links to the failed coup in 2016.

SEATTLEPI | ZOSHA MILLMAN
Seattle Times Reporter Mike Rosenberg Suspended After Sending Sexually Harassing Messages

Seattle Times journalist Mike Rosenberg has deactivated his Twitter account after another journalist accused him of sending sexually explicit and harassing messages. Talia Jane, a Brooklyn-based journalist, started a thread detailing an initially anonymous Twitter user who began asking her about her job prospects, then pivoted to sexually charged messages. She eventually posted a full screenshot with his username. Seattle Times president and CFO Alan Fisco said: “The Seattle Times has been made aware of allegations of sexual harassment earlier today against a newsroom employee. We take these kinds of allegations very seriously and have suspended the employee pending an investigation by our human resources group.” The Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, of which Rosenberg is a board member, also released its own statement stating it had suspended him until further notice.

Related: The SPJ has compiled a list of resources for combating sexual harassment in the newsroom.

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Maria Perez is Director, Web Experience & Operations at PR Newswire. An animal lover, she curates content for @PRNPets – that is, when she’s not busy cuddling with her 11-year-old blind Maltese, Toody.

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