CNN chief Chris Licht has stepped down: Warner Brothers
Chris Licht, the embattled head of CNN, has stepped down from the news network “effective immediately,” Warner Brothers Discovery announced Wednesday as it appointed an interim leadership team.
After joining CNN last year, Licht came under fire for editorial decisions including a recent town hall meeting with former president Donald Trump that was dominated by cheering from supporters and jeering at CNN interviewer Kaitlan Collins.
“I have great respect for Chris, personally and professionally,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery.
“The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy, especially at a time of huge disruption and transformation, and he has poured his heart and soul into it,” Zaslav said.
“While we know we have work to do as we look to identify a new leader, we have absolute confidence in the team we have in place and will continue to fight for CNN and its world class journalism.”
Licht had sharply criticized CNN’s news coverage of Trump under former news chief Jeff Zucker in a recent Atlantic article, but the publication reported uncertainty among CNN journalists on Licht’s preferred approach.
The article also characterized Licht as aloof and distrusted among rank-and-file network journalists, who were also critical of his handling of other controversies, such as the firing of former CNN presenter Don Lemon, who had made remarks about women and aging that were seen as sexist.
Under the plan announced Wednesday, CNN will be led on an interim basis by executive vice presidents Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, and Eric Sherling, as well as Chief Operating Officer David Leavy.