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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Netflix Founder Reed Hastings Stepping Down As Co-CEO; Andy Murray Turns Back The Clock In Marathon Aussie Win; PA Gov. Shapiro Opens 92 Percent Of State Jobs To Non-Degree Candidates. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 20, 2023 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Lost at sea since December.


ELVIS FRANCOIS, LOST AT SEA FOR 24 DAYS: I got no food -- just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat.


ROMANS: Wow. A plane saw the word "help" carved -- "help" carved into the sailboat's hull and notified the Navy.


Clip from Marvel's "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."


ROMANS: Marvel's superheroes returning to China, one of the biggest markets in the world, after almost four years. The sequels "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" will debut there in February.

Next, a leadership shakeup at the company that put Blockbuster out of business. And soon, on "CNN THIS MORNING," tough questions for voters who now call George Santos their congressman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are his lies perhaps different than others, or is it fair game to lie in politics?




ROMANS: All right. The Netflix founder, Reed Hastings, is stepping down as co-CEO and

will now serve as executive chairman. Hastings founded Netflix in 1997 and over the years, transformed how we watch movies and T.V. series at home.

Let's bring in CNN's Clare Duffy. What are we hearing from Hastings and the company about this move?

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: So, Hastings and the company are saying this is a succession plan that has been in place for over a decade. That this is part of a long-planned effort to sort of move him back out of the leadership role of this company. And their strategy really isn't going to change. That this is something that has been part of the plan.

Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO, along with co-CEO Greg Peters, now who has been elevated -- Ted Sarandos has really become a power player in Hollywood in his own right. He has been Netflix's longtime content chief.

And so, this doesn't seem like a huge change at Netflix but, obviously, Reed Hastings has been --


DUFFY: -- part of this company and he says he'll be -- continue to be part of the company. He tweeted about this last night that he plans to be executive chairman for a long time.

But it does -- you know, this is a huge change.

ROMANS: Right.

DUFFY: Reed Hastings is a visionary in this area.

ROMANS: Absolutely -- kind of a legend in how he could foresee how we would consume media.

How is Netflix doing in the streaming wars at the moment? I know they released earnings yesterday.

DUFFY: Yes. So this company has been through a bruising last year. The earnings -- last night, they ended the year on a high note. They gained 7.7 million new subscribers. That was significantly more than they'd expected. They pointed to some of their really high-profile releases from the last quarter -- "WEDNESDAY," the "HARRY & MEGHAN" documentary series.

ROMANS: That did well, right?

DUFFY: It did really well. It was the second-most popular documentary series on Netflix ever, the company said.

But going forward, there are a lot of questions about the company's newly-released ad tier -- their subscription service is $6.99 a month, and whether that will really attract new subscribers or whether their existing subscribers might sort of scale back into this lower-priced offering.

ROMANS: It's amazing. I mean, when you look at Netflix, it was founded in '97 as a video rental business -- it basically helped put Blockbuster out of business -- mailing out DVDs in little red envelopes.

Now, a quarter-century later, what is, I guess, the legacy of Reed Hastings? You called him a visionary.

DUFFY: It seems like you really can't overstate Reed Hastings' legacy. He has changed, as you said, how we watch movies and T.V. at home. He has sort of changed the face of Hollywood and how the movie production business works.

You know -- and -- they talked last night on their call about the fact that this is still early days. As much as this seems like a part of our lives now, it's still -- you know, many people have yet to sort of switch from legacy T.V. into the streaming business. And so, there's still room for growth, they said, in this industry.

ROMANS: All right, Clare. Nice to see you. Thank you so much.

DUFFY: Thank you.

ROMANS: We'll watch that stock today.

All right, to sports now. The Celtics edge the Warriors in overtime in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


You know, the Warriors -- they beat the Celtics in the finals last year and then again, handily in their game in December. So you knew Boston was going to be super-motivated going into last night. And this was a close one.

Under a minute to go, Steph Curry getting pressure but he's going to take it in for the easy lay-in. The Warriors were up by three with 28 seconds left. The Celtics, though -- they come right back down. Jaylen Brown -- the huge three there to tie the game.

We would go to overtime. In the extra period, the Celtics going on an 8-0 run, capped off by this Jayson Tatum three. He had 34 points.

Boston would then hold on to win that game 121-118.

Andy Murray, meanwhile turning back the clock at the Australian Open. The 35-year-old was down two sets and was a game away from losing to Thanasi Kokkinakis before mounting just an epic comeback. And the comeback included this volley where Murray made an incredible save after incredible save.

The crowd was just going nuts and they were there for a long time. This match lasted five hours and 45 minutes and didn't end until after 4:00 a.m. local time in Australia.

Murray, who now plays with a metal hip, advancing to the third round after the longest match of his career.


ANDY MURRAY, 3-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: Unbelievable that I managed to turn that around. Thanasi was playing -- I mean, serving unbelievable and hitting his forehand huge. And I don't know how I managed to get through. I did -- I did start playing better as the match went on. And yes, I have a big heart.


SCHOLES: He certainly does.

Elsewhere, in a statement to ESPN, Damar Hamlin's friend Jordan Rooney told ESPN that Hamlin still has a lengthy recovery ahead and that he still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. Rooney added that Hamlin has visited the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily.

The Bills are going to be taking on the Bengals on Sunday in a rematch of that game that was canceled after Hamlin collapsed.

And there certainly are some awesome matchups this weekend. Jaguars- Chiefs and Giants-Eagles on Saturday. Then you've got that Bengals- Bills game. And then, the Cowboys and 49ers renewing their rivalry in the nightcap on Sunday.


All right, to the NHL where we may have had the pass of the year last night. The Sabres and Islanders in overtime. Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin lofting a perfect pass almost the entire length of the rink to Dylan Cozens, who batted it out of midair twice and buried the game- winner just 12 seconds into overtime. What a pass.

The Sabres win that game 3-2.

In college hoops, Gonzaga's streak of 76 straight home wins finally coming to an end at the hands of Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs had their chances in the final seconds here but the Lions held on. The first time the Lions have won at Gonzaga since 1991. They had lost 25 in a row. Gonzaga tastes defeat at home for the first time since January of 2018.

Elsewhere, happy 21st birthday to Northern Kentucky's Marques Warrick. Down to the final seconds, Warrick -- the half-court, game-winner. Awesome there. His teammates run to celebrate with him as Northern Kentucky beats Cleveland State 57-56.

Christine, certainly a birthday he'll never forget, and what great timing -- 21 years old. He could go officially celebrate after that one.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

All right, nice to see you. Thanks, Andy. Have a great weekend.

SCHOLES: All right -- you, too.

ROMANS: All right, here is today's fast-forward look ahead.

A court will decide today in one of the cases against Illinois' new assault weapon ban. The lawsuit was brought by four gun stores and more than 800 gun owners.

President Biden will welcome bipartisan mayors from across the country to the White House today. They are in town for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine will announce today if he will run for a third term. Democratic leaders are lobbying hard for him to run again.

Coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING," the president's frustration spills out into public. How he is answering questions about that documents scandal.

And next, right here, more opportunity for people who don't have college degrees.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning, 300 -- $300 under sticker price for car buyers, on average, last month. Quite an improvement from a year ago when car inventories were extremely tight due to a lack of factory parts -- mainly, computer chips. Then, 80 percent of buyers were paying above sticker price for a car. Today, that number is down to about 36 percent.

All right, looking at markets around the world right now, Asian markets are higher. Consumer prices in Japan rose four percent in December. Four percent -- that's pretty good in comparison to the U.S., but's the fastest pace in Japan since 1981.

On Wall Street, stock index futures are barely mixed right now. The Dow and the S&P fell for the third day in a row yesterday. Investors still worried about corporate earnings and more Fed rate hikes, even as inflation eases.

And news of more tech layoffs. The Wall Street Journal reporting this morning Google's parent company Alphabet will slash 12,000 jobs -- the company's largest-ever round of layoffs.

So you've heard these layoffs in the headlines, but let's look more widely here. Jobless claims -- this is first-time filings for unemployment benefits -- fell, lower than expected -- 190,000. The labor market, overall, remains tight outside of tech and media.

Mortgage rates fell to levels not seen since last September. The 30- year fixed-rate mortgage fell for the third week in a row, now at 6.15 percent.

And on inflation watch, gas prices up one penny overnight, now at $3.39 a gallon.

All right. With the economy still facing a worker shortage, one governor is pushing an interesting solution. Newly-elected Pennsylvania Democrat Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order eliminating the four-year degree requirement for most state government jobs.


GOV. JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA): I'm proud to sign an executive order announcing that effective immediately, 92 percent of all commonwealth jobs -- approximately 65,000 jobs here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are open to Pennsylvanians regardless of whether they hold a college degree.


ROMANS: Former Republican governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, also made the same move while in office as a way to address labor shortages and to ensure opportunities for qualified non-degree candidates.

Let's bring in Byron Auguste. He's the CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work. Byron, it's so good to see you this morning.

OK, so what are the advantages of addressing the worker shortage this way and broadening the pool of applicants -- just opening the floodgates to more people to apply for jobs?

BYRON AUGUSTE, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, OPPORTUNITY@WORK (via Webex by Cisco): Well, there are so many advantages. And thank you for having me on this morning.

When you think about the United States labor force, there are 70 million Americans who do not have bachelor's degrees but who are stars. They are skilled through alternative routes.

And what are alternative routes? They might have gone to community college, military service. There are a plethora of all sorts of training programs we can gain very specific skills -- tech skills. But most of all, they gain skills on the job.

When you do work in a call center or customer support, for example, you build so many of the skills you need for --


AUGUSTE: -- let's say, a sales job that might be open.

So there are so many opportunities to tap into that talent pool. Folks who didn't come through college -- who came through some other route.

ROMANS: So, we're talking, Byron, about state government jobs here -- Gov. Shapiro's state. But I know that in the C-suite -- in private businesses, this is something that executives and H.R. managers debate a lot. Because --


ROMANS: -- there are a lot of big companies that the whole, sort of, 20th-century mantra was you get through college, you get the degree. It shows that you know how to show up, you know how to follow the rules, you know how to be a good worker.


Are we testing that theory?

AUGUSTE: Well, we absolutely are testing the theory. And, in fact, really, in a sense, the market itself has tested that theory. Because the problem with that theory isn't that college is bad. Of course, college is great and the higher education system in the United States is a tremendous asset.

But the fact of the matter is that if you think we're going to solve our skills problems entirely through college -- well, you have a math problem because fewer than 40 percent of American workers have bachelor's degrees. But at the peak of this trend that you mentioned, over 70 percent of new job postings quote-unquote require a bachelor's degree.

So that math just doesn't work. It's tens of millions of workers off.

And in a sense, by equating skills with college degrees, we've created the skills gap in American industry. The skills gap is the result of this opportunity gap and these barriers. It's not really the cause of them.

ROMANS: I'm thinking of a Fortune 500 company, in particular, where I know this was a big, big debate. And they were worried -- this company was worried -- executives were worried that so many of the workforce that, for years, the baseline requirement was a four-year degree. If you open up these jobs to people who don't have a four-year degree, that you're going to cause some sort of rift in the workplace.

What is your advice, I guess, to executives who are considering this -- talking about this, debating whether you need -- honestly, for diversity and inclusion, as well, you need to open up your pool of candidates?

AUGUSTE: Well, I spent -- I spent two decades in the private sector and I spent most of that time advising C-suite leaders. And I've been working in a mix of private and public, and nonprofit sectors since then. And I do have this conversation all the time with corporate leaders.

And my main advice is why -- think about the reasons why you think someone needs a bachelor's degree. What does that really mean for you? Because it's one thing to say oh, I need them to have a civil engineering degree in order to be part of designing a bridge. That's one thing.

ROMANS: Right.

AUGUSTE: But if you say we need to have some kind of bachelor's degree -- because a bachelor's degree is, like, not one thing -- it's 18,000 different things. If you say just having a bachelor's degree means I'll consider them and if they don't have a bachelor's degree I won't consider them, then you're not really thinking hard enough about the problem.

So if what you want is someone who's a good writer, why not look at a writing sample? If what you want is somebody who is great at sales, why don't you have them make a pitch? These days you can do that online. You don't have to bring them in. So, in other words, you can use technology to supplement human judgment but you've got to start with your own judgment. What is it you're really looking for?

And when we have that discussion with company leaders they find very quickly that there's actually very few skills that they might be looking for that they couldn't find both from a college graduate or from a star. And that they're simply narrowing their talent pool and kind of shooting themselves in the foot if they don't open up their talent pool to the path of skilled workforce.

ROMANS: Fascinating.

Byron Auguste of Opportunity@Work. Nice to see you. Thanks for dropping by.

AUGUSTE: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

President Biden speaking out on what bugs him about the media's focus on his classified document scandal.



ROMANS: All right. Our Top of the Morning this Friday morning, the top country songs streaming right now on Amazon Music.


KANE BROWN, SINGER: Singing "Thank God."


ROMANS: That's Kane Brown at number one with some help from his wife, Katelyn. She's got a great voice, too, right?

All right, here's number two.


MORGAN WALLEN, SINGER: Singing "You Proof."


ROMANS: Morgan Wallen with "You Proof."

And at number three.


LUKE COMBS, SINGER: Singing "The Kind of Love We Make."


ROMANS: That's "The Kind of Love We Make" by Luke Combs.

All right, two storm systems expected to bring some heavy snow to both the east and west coast this weekend. Let's get to meteorologist Chad Myers. What's happening, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the first time we've had some significant snow along the coast of Maine, and even some snow in Boston overnight. Watch your roadways today. There's light snow showers across parts of New York and also into Pennsylvania.

I hope the Maine cabin masters aren't trying to put a roof on a house today because there will be between four and six inches of new snow in their neck of the woods.

Back out to the west, our next snow system here into parts of Arizona. It has been snowing in Flagstaff, Prescott, Page, almost all the way down to Cave Creek -- not quite, but close. Temperatures are very cold there.

This is good news for Lake Mead's reservoir. This is the water that's going to melt later on this year and get into Lake Mead. And so, we'll take all of the snow there in the southern Rockies in that Colorado River basin that we can get.

Here's the rain, though, for tomorrow. A couple of big showers and storms across parts of the Deep South. Some areas may pick up between four and six inches of rainfall. We'll take what we can get. Some spots, though, are still very saturated from the other rain showers.

And there's the next storm system. Denver did get snow last time, but this looks like it's kind of Pueblo, Colorado Springs, maybe toward Goodland kind of a storm. Not as much up into Nebraska and a little bit farther to the south. And there you see the snow still into parts of Ohio and into the northeast.

You know, this is some good news. The ski resorts in New England have been really, really warm. I think they'll take the snow as long as the skiers can actually get there.

ROMANS: Yes. As soon as I get out of here, I'm going to Mount Snow, by the way. So I'm really looking --

MYERS: Fantastic.

ROMANS: I'm looking to Vermont, and I'm going to ski the East with some real -- with some real snow this weekend.

And the Maine Cabin Masters, I would just like to say, fact check, I think that they can build in any weather.

MYERS: Yes, they can.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. Nice to see you, Chad.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody. CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.