The definition of meta is dependent on what medium you are talking about. The definition of news is dependent on who's news is being discussed. When the two are obviously mixed you can be sure the subject is cable news. Cable news? Is there really such a thing as cable news? Where? What channel? Well....maybe some forms of CNN are news. Maybe some of the financial networks are news. Other than that I think you will find most so called cable news is meta.
Meta is generally considered to be discussions or writings about the internal workings of whatever medium is carrying the information. I use the word information but really mean commercial exploitation. I find that cable news tends to be more about the products and wares of the medium at hand rather than about the happenings in our world that may impinge on our daily lives. The top story on many cable news programs is most likely a sales pitch for some book published by the cable network's in house print producer. Or maybe a movie developed on the network's captive film entertainment conglomerate.
Conglomerate, that is a good word to use here. Cable network news is, without exception, part of some conglomerate that includes print and electronic book publishing, movie-music-manufacturing entities, financial institutes, etc. I can't think of one cable news program that isn't part of some entity that spends 100% of its efforts at selling in house products.
If I am being a little circumspect here it is probably due to the fact that this will be published by one portion of one of those conglomerates. I will initially publish this to one of my favorite on line social sites which is aligned with one of my favorite on line news sites which is incorporated along with some of the largest, most profitable corporations in the world. I do this because I am a little guy. Little guys don't have much choice. They can either be the tree that falls when no one is in the forest or they can join the rest of the herd and gather at some watering hole made available by one or another conglomeration to provide open access to the public trough.
I happen to have an in house editior-kibbutzer. After she read the above her first question was, "what's the point?" I pointed out to her that the essay stood for itself. The comments I made were the point on their own. She said, "that sounds like you are describing a self serving system." That is when I decided to add this paragraph. Yes, it is self serving. Everyone, from the top organization's CEO to this little guy writing this article, is using the system to benefit themselves. I have to agree.