Chris Licht Out At CNN After Turbulent Tenure As CEO

Chris Licht Out At CNN After Turbulent Tenure As CEO
(screen capture via CNN)

After just over one year as chairman of CNN, former TV producer Chris Licht (pronounced “licked”) is leaving the news network.

And CNN is not better off than when he took over.

From the New York Times:

David Zaslav, the chief executive of CNN’s parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, informed staff on Wednesday morning that he had met with Mr. Licht and that he was leaving, effective immediately.

Mr. Licht’s 13-month run at CNN was marked by one controversy after another. 

“For a number of reasons things didn’t work out, and that’s unfortunate,” Mr. Zaslav said, according to a recording of his remarks. “It’s really unfortunate, and ultimately that’s on me. And I take full responsibility for that.”

Under Licht’s watch ratings for CNN fell precipitously and several miscalculations (including trying to make Don Lemon into a morning show personality, and the recent crash and burn of a town hall featuring Donald Trump) only added to his woes.

Things took an even uglier step last week when The Atlantic published a lengthy profile documenting in detail Mr. Licht’s stormy tenure.

But money is always the bottom line and under his leadership, the network lost. A lot. Last year, the network generated $750 million in profit, down from $1.25 billion the year before.