CNN updates guidelines on use of ‘breaking news’ banner

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After 30 days on the job, CNN CEO Chris Licht reached out to staffers in a companywide memo that addressed, among other things, the subject of the network’s use of the breaking news banner.

“Something I have heard from people both inside and outside the organization is complaints we overuse the “Breaking News” banner. I agree,” the memo reads.

“It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience,” the memo continues. “Starting today, CNN has added a ‘Breaking News’ guideline to our stylebook. A special thank you to Sam Feist, who led the team that put the guideline together. 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 adds: “We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers. You’ve already seen far less of the ‘Breaking News’ banner across our programming. The tenor of our voice holistically has to reflect that. As I have said, we 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.”