Following former CNN boss Jeff Zucker's sudden resignation earlier this year over an undisclosed relationship with a senior executive, Stephen Colbert's producer Chris Licht has been selected as the next CNN president.
Licht is no stranger to CNN. Currently, he serves as the man behind the scenes of "The Late Show" featuring host Stephen Colbert. With 20 years of television experience, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge on what it takes to run and produce all kinds of shows, CNN personality Brian Stelter touted in the cable news network's announcement Saturday. Unlike Zucker who oversaw a number of the company's assets, Licht will focus exclusively on leading the news side of CNN.
Licht inherits a transitional challenge as CNN prepares to enter a new partnership with the media company, Discovery. Parent company WarnerMedia, the organization that owns CNN, announced plans to work with Discovery CEO David Zaslav in creating a joint product. The merger will require Licht's leadership and direction as the news giant enters this new chapter. The merger between Warner Media and Discovery is slated to take place in April.
Licht's management means a slight change of priorities of CNN, according to Axios. The new president will strive to move CNN more towards a center-left voice, a departure from the increasingly liberal tone that has drawn mounting criticism in the past few years. The sentiment is one shared by Zaslav. Licht will also take some of the efforts currently behind primetime shows and direct them more towards developing the source-gathering capabilities of the network.
Along with the newsroom transition, Licht will reportedly be facing a very different CNN from the one that existed just a few months ago.
Zucker resigned from his leadership position after admitting he engaged in a romantic relationship with CNN executive Allison Gollust.
In addition to a change in leadership, CNN recently fired longstanding anchor Chris Cuomo for his proximity to the allegations brought against his brother, disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The younger Cuomo was accused of using his influence as an anchor at CNN to help his brother respond to the sexual misconduct allegations. Unable to reconcile, CNN chose to let Cuomo go.
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