CNN CEO Chris Licht has been dismissed from his position after a controversial and tumultuous tenure at the news network. The decision comes in the wake of vocal concerns raised by CNN anchors over his leadership. Licht’s departure was first reported by The New York Times, and later confirmed by CNN itself.
According to The Wall Street Journal, several CNN anchors had expressed their discontent with Licht’s handling of the network’s programming and editorial decisions. Criticisms reportedly included his preference for sensational stories over in-depth reporting, and his tendency to prioritize guests with shocking opinions and controversial views.
Licht was appointed as CNN’s CEO in 2019, following a lengthy career as a producer and executive at various television networks. He was tasked with rejuvenating the network’s ratings and boosting its relevance in an increasingly competitive media landscape. However, his tenure was marked by several high-profile controversies, including the fallout from a contentious town hall event hosted by then-President Donald Trump.
In the aftermath of Licht’s departure, opinions differ on the future direction of CNN. Some observers argue that the network needs to return to its roots as a serious news organization, while others suggest that it needs to embrace new, edgier formats in order to attract younger viewers. As Poynter points out in an opinion piece, the challenge for CNN moving forward will be to strike a balance between attracting a wide audience and maintaining its reputation for journalistic integrity.