Chris Licht replaced Jeff Zucker as CNN’s chief executive last year, with a mandate to make the network move the network more toward the political center. But a town hall meeting with Donald Trump received wide criticism, and a revamp of the network’s morning show imploded with the firing of Don Lemon.
A lengthy profile of Licht in Atlantic magazine that came out on Friday proved embarrassing and likely sealed his fate. Only two days ago, Licht promised on the same morning editorial call to fight to regain the trust of CNN employees.
David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, appointed four current CNN executives — Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling and David Leavy — to run the network while a search for a replacement is conducted.
David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery said “We are in good hands”.
Licht arranged a town hall in May with former President Donald Trump in New Hampshire to showcase a reporter he elevated to be a star, Kaitlin Collins, as he sought to unveil her new primetime show. Instead, it was widely panned, both as an exercise in futility (Trump steamrolled Collins’ efforts to fact-check him) and in pandering (CNN had staged it as a live event before an audience stocked with Trump fans).