Thursday June 8, 2023 – CNN Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Licht has stepped down from the media company, effective immediately, CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery said on Wednesday, June 7.
Warner Bros said that it put in place an interim leadership team including Amy Entelis, EVP of talent and content development; Virginia Moseley, EVP of editorial; and Eric Sherling, EVP of US programming, as well as David Leavy, chief operating officer, on the commercial side.
Before his sack, Licht had been in the job for just 13 months.
The move comes less than a week after the Atlantic magazine published a critical report about Licht.
Licht was criticized for the network’s decision to broadcast a May 10 town hall with former Republican President Donald Trump, during which Trump repeated falsehoods about his 2020 election loss, said that if elected he would pardon many supporters convicted of taking part in a Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, and called CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins a “nasty person.”
CNN’s ratings have been going down the last couple of years despite the company’s attempts to get more Republican viewers.
In an email to staff on Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery President and Chief Executive David Zaslav wrote that the company will be conducting a wide search, internally and externally, for a new leader.
“This job was never going to be easy, especially at a time of great disruption and transformation, and Chris poured his heart and soul into it,” Zaslav wrote.
He added: “Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we had hoped – and ultimately that’s on me.”