Chris Licht was at CNN for 14 months before they decided to cut him loose. Despite his short stint as CEO, he made some changes.
“This was an exciting but incredibly challenging assignment and I learned a lot over the past 13 months,” Licht said in a statement. “I’ve been lucky enough to have had a successful, fulfilling career and I look forward to my next chapter. I wish the team at CNN the very best, always.”
There was chaos beyond the layoffs and ratings, but the final straw was the profile The Atlantic wrote on Licht. In it, over 100 CNN employees questioned Licht’s ability to lead them into the future.
When you lose the room, it is hard to keep any job.
Licht had a lot of success before CNN running various news shows including “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, “CBS Sunday Morning,” and before joining CNN, Licht led Colbert’s program while it became the highest-rated late-night show on television.
When he got to CNN, he first eliminated CNN+, which did not sit well with his employees. When you axe something that is supposed to be a big part of a company’s future it is a hard thing to win people over while doing.
Following that, he had to lay off a lot of employees in November and December.
The situation did not get any better when he revamped “CNN This Morning.” All of the Don Lemon drama followed which led to the anchor being fired.
Then, Licht gave the green light to have Donald Trump’s townhall on CNN. That was not well received either. Anchor Christiane Amanpour made headlines when she shared her difference in opinion from him during a Columbia Journalism School commencement speech.
That set the stage for The Atlantic’s profile, which led to his firing. Licht’s time at CNN was full of ups and downs, minus the ups.
Click the link below to hear Tony Katz’s thought on Licht’s departure from CNN.
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