Chris Licht, the new chairman and CEO of CNN, is something to be proud of. He took over a cable news network with low profits and few prospects for improvement.
Licht was shocked to discover that the network was heavily dependent on Donald Trump for its ratings. CNN was without Trump as its news anchor. No one cared about the left-wing bias and slant that made CNN famous.
For the first time in many decades, CNN’s profits will fall below $ 1 billion. Its prime-time coverage draws less than 700,000. viewers per night. Licht knew that he had to do something.
Licht held a virtual meeting Friday morning to discuss the changes he would like to see at the network.
According to the Hollywood Reporter who quoted several people from the call, Licht stated that “This is a time for significant change” and “There will be more change, and it is possible that you don’t understand or like it.”
Multiple CNN staffers claim that CNN’s decision not to air Brian Stelter’s show caused renewed anxiety in 30 Hudson Yards.
Licht made it clear from the beginning that there would be changes to CNN’s lineup and not just its streaming strategy. However, one staffer said that those plans “hadn’t really sunk in yet.”
Everyone knew that Licht had to find a replacement for Chris Cuomo who was fired in December. At Warner Bros. Discovery’s upfront, Licht stated that he would “reimagine” CNN’s morning show and promised to be a disruptive force in the time period. It is not clear if that reimagining will include New Day anchors John Berman or Brianna Keilar, but CNN employees do not expect them to stay on the show for the long term.
These are cosmetic changes. Licht must do something that his woke snowflake employees won’t like if he wants CNN to return to profitability. He will have to get CNN to stop being a soapbox and return to reporting what we used to call “straight news.” However, it won’t be impartial. It’s likely to be more left-leaning.
This makeover will include the search for new talent.
Deadline reported that John Malone, a billionaire investor in CNN’s parent company Warner Bros., is among the biggest investors. Discovery — stated earlier this year in an interview that he wants CNN to “evolve back into the kind of journalism it started with” and that it should have journalists.
Stelter complained in his newsletter that Malone’s desire for impartial reporting at CNN “stoked fears about Discovery might stifle CNN journalist and steer clear of calling out injustice and indecency.”
Deadline was told by an insider that Stelter’s decision was made “from above.” He added, “If John Malone isn’t directly involved, it sure shows his thinking with lieutenants doing John Malone’s bidding.”
Networks like Fox, MSNBC, and CNN will soon disappear as Americans disconnect from satellite and cable services. These networks will soon be replaced with individualized news sources that will let us choose the type of news we wish to hear and see. We will know what bias we are getting, rather than having networks pretend that they aren’t.