Chris Licht, the CEO of CNN, is leaving after only 13 months.
CNN’s CEO has stepped down after only 13 months in the position.
Chris Licht was under fire after a recent feature about him in the Atlantic magazine, for which he granted exceptional access, raised concerns about his leadership.
The television network’s ratings have also dropped, and it has been severely chastised for how it handled a town hall discussion with former President Donald Trump.
Discovery stated that “things did not work out the way we had hoped.”
Mr. Licht was hired as the channel’s president last year, when Discovery joined with WarnerMedia, which owns CNN, HBO, and others.
Warner Bros. Discovery president David Zaslav expressed appreciation for “Chris’s efforts and dedication, and [we] wish him all the best.”
“This job was never going to be easy, especially at a time of great disruption and transformation, and Chris poured his heart and soul into it,” he said as he announced the shift, which takes effect immediately.
“Unfortunately, things did not go as planned – and ultimately, that is my fault.” “I accept responsibility.”
Mr. Licht took over CNN as a result of the Discovery takeover, which resulted in major changes such as the removal of former CEO Jeff Zucker, the abrupt cancellation of CNN+, a planned streaming service, and hundreds of layoffs.
Mr. Zaslav has also lobbied CNN to change its tone, which he perceived as shifting to the left and becoming too aggressive during the Trump administration, when the former president repeatedly derided it as “fake news.”
Mr Zaslav had stated that CNN should distinguish itself from competitor news brands perceived to be more politicized, such as Fox News on the right and MSNBC on the left.
“In our opinion, there are advocacy networks on both sides.” We have the world’s best journalists. “We need to show both sides of every issue,” he stated earlier this year at an investment conference.
However, Mr Licht’s efforts to liven up programming, including the launch of a new morning show, had fallen flat.
His position had been called into question after the appointment of a new chief operational officer, who was considered as close to Discovery’s CEO, earlier this month.
Mr. Licht formerly worked at CBS as an executive vice president of special programming and as a showrunner for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” He had previously worked for CBS News and was a co-creator of MSNBC’s successful morning news program “Morning Joe.”
Mr Zaslav stated that the channel will be overseen by an interim team of leaders while the firm sought a replacement.