CNN is just about ready to pull back the curtain on its rebooted Reliable Sources newsletter. The new version of the widely-read tip sheet will be led by senior media reporter Oliver Darcy, and will return with a new look and a new format on Monday, September 26.
Darcy says the new Reliable newsletter will have a “more concise format” though it will “continue to tackle issues relating to newsrooms, partisan media, social media, podcasts, and streaming services.” It will also “continue to pay close attention to industry titans who are reshaping our information environment.”
But it will have an entirely new “polished” visual identity, from the logo to the structure of the newsletter, which will be organized around specific sections so readers can quickly find the section they are looking for. CNN says that the refreshed newsletter is based on feedback they have received since the last issue hit inboxes August 18.
But CNN will also be cutting back on the newsletter’s frequency. Until he left CNN last month, Brian Stelter and Darcy split newsletter responsibilities, publishing six issues per week. Going forward, there will only be four issues per week, Monday-Thursday, which is meant to give more time for Darcy to do original reporting that can be featured in the final product.
The return of the newsletter will also mark the return of the “Reliable Sources” brand to CNN, a month after its namesake TV show was canceled and the newsletter went on hiatus.
Stelter created and launched the tip sheet in 2015 based on the long-running TV hour, and in the years since it had become a must-read among media and entertainment executives, as well as news junkies. Darcy was a longtime contributor to the newsletter, and was brought on as its co-author in 2020.
He says that Reliable Sources is “an iconic and essential CNN institution” adding that “it is a great privilege to take the helm, especially during what is the most consequential period for the media industry in modern history.”
Darcy’s Reliable newsletter will join what has become an increasingly crowded field for tip sheets that touch on the media business. Former New York Times media columnist Ben Smith is set to launch his own media newsletter in the coming weeks, while The Daily Beast launched its own product earlier this year. The subscription news outlet Puck has leaned on media and entertainment reporting as a cornerstone of its product since launching a year ago. Axios Media Trends, led by Sara Fischer, has become a must-read newsletter with a specific focus on the business of media.
And of course media outlets from Politico and The New York Times to the Wall Street Journal and Nieman Journalism Lab have long provided ample coverage of the media sector.