Two large shifts have occurred in two large communication/media companies: Twitter and CNN. Right after Thanksgiving, Twitter announced their CEO was taking a step back and CNN shared that it is transiting to a new owner.
On Monday, November 29, 2021, Twitter board announced CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down. Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer, will replace Dorsey as the new CEO. And this change is effective immediately.
After co-founding Twitter in 2006 with Biz Stone, Evan Williams, and Noah Glass, Dorsey has been constantly active in the company’s operation. He was actually the CEO on two occasions, the first time from 2006 to 2008, and the second time from 2015 till his recent resignation.
As a widely used social media tool, Twitter has a market capitalization value of more than $36 billion with around 5,500 employees. However, it is under constant scrutiny by the U.S. congress on its censorship by exploiting Section 230 which offers protection to the social media giants. Mr. Dorsey became a familiar face during several U.S. Senate and Congress hearing. His profile got further boosted by suspending and banning former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account during the 2020 U.S. election controversy.
In recent years, many tech companies are looking to create newer social communication platforms to compete with Twitter’s, along with a score of lawsuits of different kinds, Twitter’s internal disagreement might be deepened. Especially considering the trillion dollars lawsuits launched by President Donald Trump against the three U.S. big tech companies, including Twitter. Those might just be thetip of the iceberg in Mr. Dorsey’s departure.
A few weeks earlier, CNN, founded in 1980 by Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld with Jeff Zucker being the current president, announced it might have found itself a new owner.
In May 2021, AT&T and Discovery, Inc. announced a deal that would mean WarnerMedia, which was under AT&T, to be combined with Discovery. This is a $43 billion-dollar deal, in which CNN will be included since it is a subsidiary company of WarnerMedia.
Also included in this merger are HBO+, TNT, and Warner Bros. Combined with Discovery, they would create a large video streaming organization seeking to compete with Netflix and Disney+. At first look, CNN seems out of place.
John Malone, a cable TV pioneer and chairman of Liberty Media, a major shareholder of Discovery, said, according to CNBC, “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.
“I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner is going to represent.”
David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery, announced in a press conference “not only are we going to keep it [CNN],” the new company will “lean into news.”
It is not yet confirmed what specific changes will be made to CNN’s operation or leadership.