Josh Topolsky, reporting for The Verge:
Apparently, executives at CBS learned that the Hopper would win “Best of Show” prior to the announcement. Before the winner was unveiled, CBS Interactive News senior-vice president and General Manager Mark Larkin informed CNET’s staff that the Hopper could not take the top award. The Hopper would have to be removed from consideration, and the editorial team had to re-vote and pick a new winner from the remaining choices. Sources say that Larkin was distraught while delivering the news — at one point in tears — as he told the team that he had fought CBS executives who had made the decision.
Apparently the move to strike the Hopper from the awards was passed down directly to Larkin from the office of CBS CEO, Leslie Moonves. Moonves has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Hopper, telling investors at one point, “Hopper cannot exist… if Hopper exists, we will not be in business with (Dish).”
Disgraceful. This, from the company that was once the pinnacle of journalistic integrity.
News on CBS used to be fiercely independent from the business side. It followed the news where it needed to go.
Now we see why the MSM is so rapidly failing. Here we have a case of the business side completely controlling the news side. Only the news that the CEO finds worthwhile is possible and any news that he does not like simply does not make it out.
Whether one calls it a review or news, it is still direct manipulation of what the editorial content of the news media will be by the CEO. Hey, that is fine but do not portray yourself as a leader in independent news. CBS news is simply what Leslie Moonves decides it is, not the head of the news department nor any of its editors.
And CBS is now seeing what this will reap, as its people start leaving for places with greater separation of the business side from the news side. I expect others will follow because there is a eral need for good reporting separated from the pressure of outside interference.