The decision came after the company’s shift in focus away from news content, towards entertainment and viral trends.
In an internal note acquired by Axios, Campbell Brown, the esteemed television anchor who spearheaded Meta's venture into news, has announced her departure from the company. This significant development marks the conclusion of an era for Meta and the wider tech sector, as the company shifts its focus away from accentuating news content, opting instead for entertainment and viral trends. An exception to this trend is Google, which has announced its intentions to introduce the News Showcase product in the United States.
In her communication to the staff, Brown revealed her decision to step down from her current position as the head of media partnerships for Meta later this autumn. While the specifics of her next role are yet to be divulged, she assured her continued association with Meta in a consulting capacity. Brown took the opportunity to commend her team for their enduring impact on curation efforts and fact-checking partnerships during her seven-year tenure, a period marked by industry transformations and challenges.
Brown's association with Meta, formerly Facebook, began in 2017, following a distinguished career encompassing 14 years as an anchor and correspondent with CNN and NBC News. During her tenure, Meta made substantial investments in news, dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars to publishing partners and launching initiatives such as the dedicated News Tab in 2019, later intensifying these efforts in 2021. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in expanding Meta's global fact-checking network, a vital component of the company's content moderation and artificial intelligence training.
However, the landscape changed in the face of regulatory scrutiny and concerns about censorship, compelling major tech companies, particularly Meta, to shift their stance on elevating news content. Consequently, Meta reduced funding for U.S. news publishers and announced the deprecation of the Facebook News Tab in Europe. Despite these challenges, Brown continued to advocate for the news community internally while facing external criticism for Meta's product pivots, which posed challenges for news publishers in managing their resources.
Brown's legacy at Meta endures in two key domains. Firstly, in the realm of curation, she, alongside Anne Kornblut, Meta's Vice President of Global Product Content Operations, established a curation team initially for news content, which now underpins the company's recommendations strategy. Secondly, in the domain of fact-checking, Meta's program, guided by Brown's vision, contributes significantly to training Meta's artificial intelligence.
As Brown steps into a new chapter, Meta's Head of Content Partnerships, Nick Grudin, is anticipated to share detailed insights on organisational changes, ensuring the continuity of the company's momentum.