CNN CEO Chris Licht exits amidst turmoil and ratings disaster
After a mere year as CNN’s CEO, Chris Licht finds himself ousted from the network following a scathing critique of his tumultuous leadership and inability to salvage the network’s sinking ratings, as published by the Atlantic.
Upon Zucker’s forced resignation due to the concealment of a romantic relationship with a colleague, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav chose Licht to fill the role. However, with his departure, a collective of CNN executives – Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling, and David Leavy – are to temporarily head the network.
Rumblings regarding Licht’s future at CNN arose when Zaslav appointed Leavy as the new COO, allegedly to assume many responsibilities currently held by Licht. This sense of impermanence was exacerbated by the Atlantic’s article, which brought Licht’s poor decision-making and numerous blunders contributing to the network’s underperformance to the forefront.
In response to this scrutiny, Licht apologized to CNN staff, admitting that the attention he received as a result detracted from their work. Zaslav informed the staff that an extensive search for Licht’s replacement was underway and, acknowledging the unfortunate outcome, took responsibility for the situation himself.
As another chapter closes for CNN, the question remains: Can the network recover under new leadership?