Self Destruction? CNN CEO Chris Licht Allows Reporter Months-Long Access Inside Network, Report Infuriates Employees

AP Photo/Ron Harris

(Townhall) A damning report shocked CNN employees after The Atlantic published an exposé of their boss Chris Licht. 

Titled, Inside the Meltdown at CNN, Licht allowed months-long access to The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta to write a profile on the new boss. However, the article caused Licht to lose support from frustrated and angry employees.


According to Alberta, he had access to the newly-appointed CEO, which gave him an insider look at how the Left-wing network tried to dig itself out of a hole and rebrand CNN as more of a politically neutral outlet. 

Alberta detailed the rough year Licht has faced since taking on the job at CNN, such as the highly-criticized town hall with former President Trump and his tense relationship with ousted host Don Lemon. 

“What was clear was that Licht knew this was bad—very, very bad. Republicans were angry at CNN. Democrats were angry at CNN. Journalists were angry at CNN. The only one who wasn’t angry, it seemed, was Trump, most likely because he’d succeeded in disgracing the network on its airwaves,” Alberta said about the Trump town hall. 

The reporter claimed that every decision—big or small— Licht made seemed to backfire. 

“Licht’s theory of CNN — what had gone wrong, how to fix it, and why doing so could lift the entire industry — made a lot of sense,” the report continued. “The execution of that theory? Another story. Every move he made, big programming decisions and small tactical maneuvers, seemed to backfire. I asked Licht to explain that mission … ‘Journalism. Being trusted. Everyone has an agenda, trying to shape events or shape thoughts. There has to be a source of absolute truth.'”

Alberta also detailed Licht’s rift with Lemon, citing the CEO’s problem with how the openly gay host dressed. 

The journalist recalled a day when Lemon walked onto the set wearing a white jacket with a fur collar. Licht responded, “What the f–k is he wearing?”

Lemon took the jacket off before his opening line but butchered its deliverance. 

“Read the f-cking prompter,” Licht yelled in frustration. 

According to the report, Lemon’s time at CNN was limited, and just a matter of time before Licht fired him. 

The report also noted how Licht was obsessed with how the press perceived him, spending most of his time reading stories about himself online. 

Alberta also claimed that Licht was obsessed with his predecessor Jeff Zucker, often trying to outdo the former CNN boss.

Explaining why he was skipping a meal, Licht told Alberta it was because he was an “f—k machine.” Working out at his Manhattan gym, Licht “squatted down to grab a long metal pole lying flat on the ground. ‘Zucker couldn’t do this shit,’ Licht said through clenched teeth, hoisting the pole with a grunt.”

Additionally, the report found that even David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, was losing confidence in Licht’s ability to turn the network around. 



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