What Major Changes Are Underway At CNN?


Sources at CNN confirm that Chris Licht, the chairman of the network, has been fired. Licht’s turbulent, one-year tenure at CNN was marked by controversy as he attempted to make the network “middle-of-the-road” with its outlook.

Licht had a significant roadblock that he could not overcome: He did not know what the term “middle-of-the-road” meant.

Licht’s goal was not to imitate Fox News but to deradicalize CNN. The backlash was huge. The firing of Don Lemon, the most left-wing news personality at CNN, sparked a mini-revolt by the hard-left staff who did not like the idea that CNN was softening its stance on the enemy. His decision to hold a town hall with Donald Trump caused left-wingers to erupt across America.

Former producer of Stephen Colbert’s most popular late-night program, CNN+, angered his employees by canceling the service. The company had to write off $1.5 billion, and CNN+’s failure will probably go down in television history as one of its most spectacular failures. The $300 million advertising campaign failed to attract more than 10,000 viewers at once.

David Zaslav is the CEO of Warner Bros., which owns CNN. Discovery, informed CNN staff. According to an audio recording, Mr. Zaslav stated that “for a variety of reasons, the things didn’t turn out and it’s unfortunate.” “It is really unfortunate and I am ultimately responsible for it.” “I take full responsibility.”

The New York Times:

The job would be much more challenging. The ratings plummeted under Mr. Licht’s leadership and a series of programming mistakes — including a morning show hosted by Don Lemon that ended in disaster, and organizing a town hall featuring Donald J. Trump which was met with harsh criticism — did not help to boost his support amongst colleagues.

The situation deteriorated when The Atlantic published a 15,000-word article last week, detailing Mr. Licht’s turbulent tenure. The article also included criticisms of the network’s pandemic reporting that rankled its rank and file.

The loyalty of anchors and staff to the former CEO Jeff Zucker also hindered Licht. Zucker was fired for failing to disclose his relationship with Allison Gollust, a senior executive. Zucker was not concerned about the “middle-of-the-road” America or good journalism. Licht was to restore CNN’s former glory as a gold standard in TV journalism.

Zaslav has his own ideas about how the network should be run.

Zaslav is outspoken in his criticism of CNN’s mission. He said, “We must show both sides to every issue” at an investor conference following the Trump town hall. In April 2022 – days after taking the helm of Warner Bros. Discovery, Zaslav stated that he wanted CNN’s brand to be distinguished from “advocacy channels.”

If Zaslav is promoted to the position of CEO at the network, we’ll have to see if this is even possible.