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New CNN boss demands network quit labeling all news as 'breaking': Report

Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers

Chris Licht, CNN's new head, has reportedly demanded that the network stop labeling all of its news "breaking news."

What are the details?

According to a Thursday Axios report, Licht — who took the reins from Jeff Zucker after his February resignation — has insisted that the company relies too heavily on referring to all of its news as "breaking."

In a memo obtained by the outlet, Licht reportedly said, "We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers," and said that the related complaints from "people both inside and outside the organization" are tired of the "breaking news" banner.

“You’ve already seen far less of the ‘Breaking News’ banner across our programming,” Licht wrote and directed the network to use the banner for only the most important news developments. "It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience."

According to the report, CNN bureau chief Sam Feist has begun overhauling the guidelines for the network's stylebook.

"It certainly will need tweaks, so we are open to feedback, but this is a great starting point to try to make 'Breaking News' mean something BIG is happening," Licht reportedly wrote in the communication.

He allegedly added that it is of utmost importance that the embattled network takes the time to focus on "informing" — presumably rather than inflaming or editorializing — the audience.

"The tenor of our voice holistically has to reflect that," the communication continued. "[W]e must be vital, relevant, and respected – and how we show up for our audiences, in every story, in every part of the country, and around the world, matters."

Neither CNN nor Licht himself have issued any public statements on the leaked memo or its authenticity at the time of this reporting.

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