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Tags: cnn | chris licht | fired | ratings | david zaslav | warner bros. discovery | network

CNN Fires CEO Chris Licht in Major Shakeup

Wednesday, 07 June 2023 08:50 AM EDT

Chris Licht is out after a year as chief executive at CNN, following a series of missteps and plunging ratings.

David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, announced the leadership change on CNN's morning editorial call Wednesday.

"For a number of reasons, things didn't work and that's unfortunate and ultimately that's on me. And I take full responsibility for that," Zaslav said, the New York Post reported.

Puck's Dylan Byers, one of the first to report Licht's departure, said Licht would be replaced for an interim period by Amy Entelis, a longtime CNN executive.

Zaslav, in the morning editorial call, announced that Entelis and three other CNN executives — Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling and David Leavy — would run the network while a search for a replacement is conducted.

"We are in good hands, allowing us to take the time we need to run a thoughtful and thorough search for a new leader," Zaslav said in a memo to CNN staff. 

The Post reported that Zaslav told staff, "I have great confidence in this group until a new CEO is named."

He added that he’s conducting a thorough search for a new leader "both internally and externally."

"We are in no rush," Zaslav said, the Post reported.

Licht replaced Jeff Zucker as CNN's chief executive last year, with a mandate to move the liberal network more toward the political center.

Network employees and liberals attacked Licht after CNN hosted a May 10 town hall with former President Donald Trump. The event gave the network record ratings, but many of the newsroom's leadership were angry that Trump had been given the platform.

Also, a revamp of the network's morning show imploded with the firing of co-host Don Lemon.

The Atlantic's "Inside the Meltdown at CNN" detailed the fallout for hosting a town hall with Trump. Analyst Brian Stelter reported for New York magazine that his former CNN colleagues see Licht as "done" after just one year with ratings still sagging.

The lengthy profile of Licht in Atlantic magazine that came out on Friday proved embarrassing and likely sealed his fate. Only two days ago, Licht promised on the same morning editorial call to fight to regain the trust of CNN employees.

But internally, Licht couldn't gain the support of many at the network who felt loyal to Zucker, who was forced out following the revelation of an improper relationship with a work colleague.

This report contains material from The Associated Press.

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Chris Licht is out after a year as chief executive at CNN, following a series of missteps and plunging ratings.
cnn, chris licht, fired, ratings, david zaslav, warner bros. discovery, network, amy entelis
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2023-50-07
Wednesday, 07 June 2023 08:50 AM
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