CNN Boss Goes Away

CNN Boss Goes Away

( – Chris Licht took over as the head of CNN in May 2022. He immediately began making changes to the network to try to take it back to its less partisan roots. Just over a year later, the executive is out.

On Wednesday, June 7, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav held CNN’s daily editorial meeting. Suddenly, he told his employees, “I met with [Licht] and he will be leaving CNN.” The former head of the network issued a statement of his own, saying the 13 months he worked for the company was an “incredibly challenging assignment” that he learned a lot from. He went on to say that he’d been very lucky to “have had a successful, fulfilling career,” and he’s excited to see what the future holds. Licht wished everyone at CNN “the very best.”

Licht’s firing came days after The Atlantic ran a critical profile on him. The 15,000-word article was published on June 2. Journalist Tim Alberta was given access to the network and spoke to more than 100 CNN employees. The picture painted of the executive was a man whose team did not trust him or his vision.

During the year Licht was in charge, the ratings at the network plummeted. The profile claimed, “Employee morale was [low]. A feeling of dread saturated the company.” Licht had shaken up the evening lineup when he took over, sending longtime host Don Lemon to the morning program. The demotion caused a great deal of tension, and Lemon was eventually fired following a controversy of his own. Licht also let Brian Stelter and White House correspondent John Harwood go.

Zaslav didn’t give an exact reason for Licht’s firing. He said that it was “unfortunate,” but it just “didn’t work out.” He went on to say that he takes “full responsibility” for what happened and said he’s conducting a search for someone new to take over the network. In the meantime, Executive Vice President of Editorial Virginia Moseley, Executive Vice President of Talent and Content Development Amy Entelis, and Executive Vice President of US Programming Eric Sherling will run the network while the search is underway.

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