Posted BY: Zero Hedge
According to multiple reports, Licht has warned employees to brace for “more changes” following the departure of Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.
“I want to acknowledge that this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled,” said Licht during a Friday morning editorial call, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “There will be more changes and you might not understand it or like it all.”
"There will be more changes and you might not understand it or like it," CNN CEO Chris Licht told staff Friday https://t.co/ms6vfyNPrv— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 19, 2022
According to a June Axios report, Licht has been preparing to boot on-air personalities who can’t break free of their crippling Trump Derangement Syndrome.
CNN’s new boss, Chris Licht, is evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan.
Why it matters: If talent cannot adjust to a less partisan tone and strategy, they could be ousted, three sources familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Details: Licht wants to give personalities that may appear polarizing a chance to prove they’re willing to uphold the network’s values so that they don’t tarnish CNN’s journalism brand.
- For on-air talent, that includes engaging in respectful interviews that don’t feel like PR stunts. For producers and bookers, that includes making programming decisions that are focused on nuance, not noise. -Axios
“We will continue covering media stories, including on TV, when warranted,” Licht reportedly said on the Friday call, in response to concerns that the network may no longer cover media issues following Stelter’s ouster, adding that the Reliable Sources newsletter will be revived under reporter Oliver Darcy.
“I really appreciate all that Brian has done to build the media beat for CNN. He’s a great human being and a good person. I wish him all the best on his new venture,” he added.
That said, the Daily Beast reached out to CNN, which confirmed Licht’s comments, but said they don’t reflect any specific changes.
“We’re constantly changing things and making decisions,” they added.
Since Licht took over in the wake of ex-boss Jeff Zucker’s unceremonious firing over an office romance with his top lieutenant Allison Golust (who’s also gone), he’s cut loose a swath of staffers, and changed several editorial guidelines – including reducing the use of “Breaking News” for on-air banners, and the use of less partisan terms to describe election fraud claims.
A source also told the Beast that Licht’s recent decisions may have more to do with billionaire mogul and influential WarnerDiscovery shareholder John Malone, who told CNBC last year that he’d “like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.”
“Everything about this rollout points to John Malone and [Discovery CEO] David Zaslav,” said a source familiar with the situation, adding “Chris Licht did not want to do this.”
Either way, looks like more CNN employees may have to learn a new skill.