July 14, 2024

CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht departs following a “brief one-year tenure marred by a series of significant missteps,” says CNN

Chris Licht
Chris Licht

Chris Licht, the chairman and chief executive officer of CNN, will be departing from the network, as reported by CNN on Wednesday. CNN stated that his “brief one-year tenure at the network was marked by a series of significant missteps.”

CNN quoted David Zaslav, the chief executive of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, as telling CNN employees at the start of the network’s daily editorial call Wednesday, “I met with Chris and he will be leaving CNN.”

Licht’s tenure at CNN lasted for 13 months and was characterized by controversies, culminating in his exit today. A recent town hall with former President Donald Trump angered many people on the left who claimed that the Republican was being given a platform to ‘spread his lies’.

But, long before the anger over Trump, the journey of the former television producer began on a rough note, even before his official start, as he oversaw the closure of the expensive CNN+ streaming service at the request of the network’s new owners, who held doubts about its viability as a stand-alone digital offering. The decision led to numerous job cuts.

According to CNN, “Licht’s departure, which came days after a devastating 15,000-word profile in The Atlantic, capped a tumultuous year for CNN, marked by layoffs, historically low ratings, and rock-bottom employee morale.”

The network added, “In the wake of The Atlantic article, Licht apologized to staffers Monday, telling the global news organization in a somber tone that he did not recognize himself when reading portions of the story and that he was sorry for having distracted from the newsroom’s work.”

The New York Times said that Licht’s exit signifies a significant downfall shortly after he left his position as executive producer of Stephen Colbert’s highly-rated late-night program, with the promise to introduce a more balanced approach to CNN’s left-leaning journalism.

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