Who Will Take Over For Chris Licht At CNN? 4 Potential Replacements

Who Will Take Over For Chris Licht At CNN? 4 Potential Replacements

CNN chief Chris Licht is out after dealing with rising discontent throughout the workplaces of CNN following a scathing Atlantic article final week and inside pushback over a much-criticized city corridor with Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump final week. Regardless of receiving preliminary public help from Warner Bros. Discovery
CEO David Zaslav, Licht discovered his place change into more and more untenable as response to the story grew amid frustration over the community’s flagging financials.

With Licht out, the query now’s who will take his place. CNN desperately wants route. Throughout Licht’s 13-month tenure, overshadowed by CNN and mum or dad firm Warner Bros.’s acquisition by Discovery, the community tried to stroll again the on-air questioning of Trump throughout his presidency that led to scores surges. Licht additionally killed CNN+ simply days after launch, a maybe not unjustified however in the end expensive resolution.

Whoever is available in could have a mass of economic and personnel complications to cope with. CNN’s earnings did not prime $1 billion final yr for the primary time in latest reminiscence. Past staking its territory within the more and more partisan cable information enviornment, the community can also be chafing in opposition to larger structural points—wire reducing has decimated conventional cable subscriptions, which has led to cratering carriage charges (what cable carriers pay networks to hold their channels).

On the personnel facet, CNN has laid off workers and dismissed a number of high-profile hosts, together with Don Lemon and Brian Stelter. The community must resolve its id transferring ahead (pulling again on the Trump criticism was a Licht initiative however Zaslav appeared to help it) and rent new expertise accordingly. And, in fact, the brand new chief might want to resolve on the most important subject of all: Whether or not to let Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper get blitzed on the air on New Yr’s Eve. Licht’s veto of that custom didn’t go over nicely with many viewers.

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Listed here are 4 potential replacements for Licht.

1. Amy Entelis

She is probably the obvious decide. Tabbed as considered one of three folks to take the reigns at CNN whereas Zaslav searches for a substitute, Entelis additionally stepped in on an interim foundation final yr, when longtime CNN chief Jeff Zucker was pushed out for not disclosing a consensual relationship with the community’s advertising and marketing head, Allison Gollust.

Entelis is a community veteran (a decade at CNN Movies) who has broadened its programming scope to deal with documentaries, a profitable transfer that additionally offers the community larger editorial depth and extra content material choices. She has an impeccable resume and unmatched grasp of what makes a information community tick—she minimize her enamel at ABC Information, the place she labored as a producer on the nightly information with Peter Jennings and at seminal newsmagazine 20/20.

2. David Leavy

As Licht’s tenure started hurtling towards an finish final week, Leavy, a Zaslav confidante who has labored for Discovery and Warner Bros. Discovery for greater than 20 years, was known as in to patch some holes. CNN named him chief working officer simply days earlier than Licht’s departure, and if Zaslav’s previous tendencies are any indication, Leavy can be the sensible wager. Zaslav takes a hands-on method with something that struggles, and over the previous yr, CNN has acquired a lot of his consideration. Having a second lieutenant he trusts working the outlet can be a logical step. Leavy reportedly has held direct conversations with CNN expertise since coming aboard.

3. Shawna Thomas

Essentially the most outside-the-box decide on the checklist, Thomas can also be probably the most intriguing. The chief producer of CBS Mornings is an excellent, agile govt with the brand new media chops CNN must efficiently transfer forward of the competitors within the coming years. She has made an enormous constructive impression on Mornings in her temporary time on the job, and her resume boasts a mixture of previous and new media. She has labored for such upstarts as Quibi and Vice in addition to spending a decade at NBC Information, the place she helped easy Chuck Todd’s transition to internet hosting Meet the Press. If Thomas doesn’t get this job, she appears destined for an additional high-profile place quickly.

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4. Jeff Zucker

Feels like a wild card, however stranger issues have occurred. Zucker was standard throughout his tenure, has an enormous depth and breadth of reports expertise (he got here from NBC), and nonetheless appears to overlook his time on the community, which he led for greater than a decade earlier than his firing. He and Zaslav was tight however have been on the outs, making the rehiring much less possible—however greenback indicators are the most important motivator in enterprise, and Zucker is aware of find out how to produce them. Don’t be shocked if the 2 highly effective males immediately kiss and make up, and Zucker is re-ensconced in time to guide 2024 presidential race protection.

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