CNN CEO Apologizes for “Distracting” Profile Story Amid Turmoil
CNN CEO Chris Licht found himself in hot water after a highly critical article in the Atlantic exposed his shaky first year at the helm of the struggling network. Trying to quell the firestorm, Licht has now apologized to his staff for the media frenzy that followed.
In a recent deep-dive article published by the Atlantic, the leadership of CNN CEO Chris Licht was put into question, highlighting tumultuous events such as the controversial town hall with former President Donald Trump and his frayed relationship with ex-host Don Lemon. Presenting Licht as a leader whose decisions only seemed to worsen the network’s situation, the piece painted a dim picture of the network’s future.
Many at Warner Bros. Discovery, especially CEO David Zaslav, were not pleased with this portrayal. While Zaslav tried to convey his faith in Licht and his team through a rather generic statement, it seems evident that changes may be coming for the beleaguered news outlet. In fact, Puck’s journalist Dylan Byers published a report that suggests Licht’s time at CNN might be nearing an end, especially with the recent appointment of David Leavy as COO, likely to take over some responsibilities from Licht.
The situation escalated with another critical article by former CNN correspondent Brian Stelter in New York Magazine, calling out Licht for taking part in the Atlantic’s profile piece. According to Stelter, around 40 network employees shared their concerns about Licht’s governing style.
In response, Licht apologized to his staff during a Monday morning call, expressing his regret for participating in the Atlantic’s story and admitting that it overshadowed their work.