News From The Newsroom

Well, it was a busy day in the media industry, with several popular news anchors getting the axe. Let’s see what happened and how it moved markets. 👀

First up, Fox News announced that it is parting ways with Tucker Carlson and that his last program aired on Friday. This came as a shock because “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has been one of the network’s top-rated programs.

The brief company statement said that “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. … We thank him for his service to the network as a host and, prior to that, as a contributor.”

The news comes just days after the company reached a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation lawsuit. While Fox did not comment on whether Carlson’s removal is in response to the lawsuit’s results, most are speculating that was the trigger. 🤷

$FOXA shares fell about 3% on the news. 👎

Meanwhile, CNN fired anchor Don Lemon because of his sexist comments and reported mistreatment of women during his tenure. ❌

The host of “CNN This Morning” claims his agent informed him about the news on Monday morning. In his tweet, he says he wished management had spoken with him directly rather than through his agent. However, CNN fired back via Twitter, saying he had the opportunity to meet with management but instead chose to take to social media.

Overall, Lemon said he had no indication that this action was coming and that“…it is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”

Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns CNN, were down about 2% on the day. 📉

Lastly, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is being ousted after admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” with a woman in the company. This comes roughly a month after outside counsel was hired to investigate a sexual harassment and sex discrimination complaint filed by a CNBC news anchor and international correspondent. 📝

For now, Mike Cavanagh, Comcast’s president, will run the NBCUniversal division until a replacement is identified. The company’s next leader will have to deal with a number of major decisions, and soon. These include Hulu’s buyout, NBA broadcast rights, and merging with Warner Bros. Discovery.

NBCUniversal’s parent company, Comcast, saw its shares fall over 1% on the news. 🔻

Schwab Raises Debt To Restructure

Financial services company Charles Schwab is back under pressure today after announcing a significant restructuring. Like other stocks caught up in the “regional banking crisis” earlier this year, it has not fully recovered its decline and is now resuming lower. 📉

Yesterday it announced plans to shutter or downsize some real estate holdings and cut employee headcount to save at least $500 million annually. It’s also issuing 11-year debt at roughly 2% above Treasuries for “general corporate purposes,” as it’s estimating $400 to $500 million in restructuring costs in the year ahead. 

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Tinder’s New Tier Costs $500/Month

It was a slow-ish news day today, so the talk of the town was Tinder’s new $500-per-month plan. Like other “zero-interest-rate-policy” (ZIRP) darlings, the company’s parent, Match Group, has struggled to keep public market investors happy in a post-pandemic world. 😓

Growth has slowed significantly, so the company is betting big on premium “power users” who will pay $500 monthly for features like exclusive searching and matching. Tinder Select is currently only being offered to less than 1% of users among the app’s most active. But don’t fret; it plans to open up applications on a rolling basis, so you’ll still have a shot if you didn’t make the first cut.

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Paper Industry Eyes Mega-Merger

When people think of the paper industry, they may think of International Paper or Dunder Mifflin. But today, The Wall Street Journal reported on two players looking to create a new industry behemoth. 

U.S. firm WestRock is reportedly nearing a deal to merge with Europe’s Smurfit Kappa Group, creating a global paper and packaging company valued at $20 billion. It would create a new company, which would become the second-largest packaging company by market capitalization.🤝

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Auto Parts Retailer Sent To Junkyard

One of these auto parts retailers is not like the other… 🤔

The troubles at Advance Auto Parts continue, with S&P Global Ratings downgrading the retailer’s credit rating to ‘junk’ status. The rating agency cut its issuer-credit rating to BB+, the highest speculative-grade rating. The downgrade from BBB- was accompanied by its outlook being cut from stable to negative. ⚠️

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