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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rihanna unveils new Fenty Hair line, GM CEO Mary Barra still sees an all-EV future for the automaker and the WashingtonPost shows what can happen to diversity during a corporate crisis. We wish you a peaceful Thursday!

– Top story. This week, people all over the world are talking about the WashingtonPostwhere new CEO William Lewis announced a plan to split the newsroom into three divisions – one focused on reaching news consumers in new ways – with their own leaders instead of a single editor in chief.

The problem? All the leaders mentioned so far were white men (former Wall Street Journal Editor Matt Murray, the telegraphRobert Winnett and the current post Opinion Editor David Shipley). And Sally Buzbee, the former Associated Press editor who postfounded three years ago, is no longer part of the action.

The news business is difficult, to say the least. posttraffic is reportedly half what it was a few years ago, when reader interest in the pandemic and the Trump administration was at its peak. Lewis has said his reorganization is an urgent matter, and he reportedly clashed with Buzbee over whether to implement it now or wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November. “We are losing large amounts of money,” he told staff, according to the post‘s own reporting. “Your readership has halved in the last few years. People aren’t reading your stuff. … I can’t sugarcoat it any more.”

The restructuring seems to have struck a chord with many. It seems to be a prime example of a trend we are seeing throughout the business world: that in difficult times, the priority of diversity can fall by the wayside. See: the series of departures of Chief Diversity Officers from American companies. This interpretation came during the postinternal meetings, according to the newspaper’s reporting. “The most cynical interpretation is as if you had chosen two of your buddies to help run the post”, one employee told the CEO. “And now we have four white men running three editorial departments.” In response post As reported, “Lewis reiterated his commitment to diversity, but acknowledged, ‘I need to improve, and you’ll see that in the future.'”

While there are strong arguments for the value of diversity in all industries, the link between diversity and success is even clearer in the media industry. Without a diverse range of voices at the table and in leadership roles, newsrooms miss important stories. Editors dictate what gets covered, and when every editor in chief is a white man, stories like sexual assault or police brutality can go unreported for decades. That’s one reason Melinda French Gates just made a multimillion-dollar donation to a news organization. The 19th*which covers the news from a gender perspective as part of its billion-dollar commitment to women’s rights.

Buzbee’s departure also struck a nerve. post Employees questioned her treatment, the newspaper reported. She was the first woman to head the newsroom in its 147-year history. According to the New York Timesthe job Lewis offered her was a demotion for her – she was to run the new newsroom, which focused on social media and service journalism, not the one covering business and politics, and which was not comparable to her job overseeing everything. And the question of diversity can only be answered up to a point; as is often the case, the story on the ground is more complex. New York Times reported last night that Buzbee and Lewis had also clashed over their decision to publish a story mentioning his involvement in a case of phone hacking in British journalism (which he had previously denied). Just History, Buzbee and a post Both spokeswomen declined to comment.

A woman in a top position is not a panacea for all problems. Look at the Wall Street Journalwhich was rocked by its own drama this week; Editor-in-chief Emma Tucker continued her months-long restructuring that included more layoffs despite the organization’s relatively solid financial footing; employees protested by putting Post-it notes with messages on their office doors. At NPR, Katherine Maher began her tenure as CEO by responding to allegations of bias after outgoing editor Uri Berliner wrote an essay saying the publicly funded news organization was left-leaning; conservatives seized on the claim and scoured Maher’s old social media posts in which she had expressed support for progressive causes. Had Buzbee been in a new version of her job amid the postWhen it presented the restructuring plan of …, it might have faced similar resistance.

So is this the end of DEI in the media? That’s probably going too far. But it’s a sign – if one was needed – that the news business, despite its lofty goals, is subject to the same pressures and short-sightedness as the rest of the business world.

Emma Hinchliffe
[email protected]

The broadsheet is Assets’s newsletter for and about the most powerful women in the world. Today’s edition was curated by Joseph Abrams. Subscribe here.


– Hair for that. Pop star and entrepreneur Rihanna announced Tuesday that she will launch a line of hair care products “designed to strengthen and repair all hair types” on June 13. The new company, Fenty Hair, will launch at a time when the hair care industry is anticipating years of growth thanks to social media advertising. Forbes

– Clogged. Senate Republicans blocked the Birth Control Rights Act by a vote of 51 to 39. It would have protected access to contraception at the national level. Before the vote, a giant spiral was displayed in front of Union Station in Washington, DC. NBC News

– Electric vehicles everywhere. GM CEO Mary Barra told NBC News that the automaker is still working toward a future where it sells only electric vehicles, despite the incompatible demand. The CEO believes this transition will happen “over decades,” although a company spokesperson says they hope to sell exclusively electric vehicles by 2035. NBC News

– Back in line. Estée Lauder plans to keep its current CEO at least for the near future, delaying a potential succession to Jane Lauder, the company’s chief marketing and data officer. Lauder is considered the leading internal candidate for the CEO position, though members of her family and the company’s board reportedly have mixed opinions about her prospects.. Wall Street Journal

– Last minute nervousness. Shari Redstone has not indicated whether or not she would accept a deal for Skydance Media to merge with Paramount, the entertainment giant in which she has a majority stake. According to sources close to the talks, the long-awaited completion of the deal is emotional for Redstone.. Financial Times

– Search completed. Alphabet confirmed Assets Wednesday morning, former Eli Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi will become the new CFO and SVP of Alphabet and Google. She will replace longtime CFO Ruth Porat, who was named president and chief investment officer last year.. Assets

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sphere Entertainment Co. appointed Chandra Allison as Executive Vice President of Sales and Services. MSI Reproductive Choices hired Beth butcher as Senior Director of U.S. Foreign Relations. Shopify added Lulu Cheng Meservey to the Board of Directors. EP+Co appointed Cat Schäffer as president. Fanatics hired Selena Calvary as Marketing Director.


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“These days, I allow myself to be human. I’ve just found a way to forgive myself for not being perfect.”

— Actress Lupita Nyong’o looks back 10 years after her breakthrough in 12 years slave

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