Chris Licht Fired from CNN on Day after Tucker Carlson Breaks the Internet

Chris Licht “stepped down” Wednesday after he failed to fix CNN’s poor ratings. Licht was brought in as a handpicked CEO for CNN. His mission was to “fix” CNN’s ratings, which didn’t go well.

Upon coming in Licht dropped the CNN+ streaming service something that had just been started, it appears much of the staff was not happy about the move. He then began to weed through anchors at CNN. He let go of Brian Stelter, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon to name a few.

Licht’s departure was announced on CNN:

“CNN announces Chris Licht’s departure on air”

David Zaslav CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, parent company of CNN sent a memo out to staff announcing Licht’s departure. You can read the full letter at the end of this article. Zaslav has put together a team to replace Licht until a new CEO is named.

It seems there was much fallout for Licht after CNN hosted a Donald Trump town hall. While the town hall had good ratings, ratings for the company dropped overall afterward.

According to much of the liberal media, the final straw may have been a piece in The Atlantic ‘Inside the Meltdown at CNN’. This article didn’t sit well with Zaslav according to MSNBC, five days later it was announced that Licht was out.

Cable news viewership seems to be dropping for all major media corporations. It appears that people prefer to get their news a different way. On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson who was taken off the air by Fox News released his first news piece since the ousting.

The ten and half minute video has been viewed 84 million times and has over 60 thousand comments a little less than 24 hours after being posted. It appears people are interested in journalism that may not have a corporate agenda behind it.

As CNN tries to move forward it remains to be seen if they can do anything to help their ratings.

See Zaslav’s letter to CNN staff below:


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This morning we are announcing that Chris Licht will be leaving CNN and we will be conducting a wide search, internally and externally, for a new leader. I wanted you to hear this news directly from me as it impacts you and your teams. 

I have known Chris for many years and have enormous respect for him, personally and professionally. 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. He has a deep love for journalism and this business and that has been evident throughout his tenure. Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we had hoped – and ultimately that’s on me. I take responsibility. Needless to say, we appreciate Chris’ efforts and dedication and wish him all the best.

We have put in place a solid transition plan with the appointment of an acting leadership team made up of experienced programming executives… Amy Entelis, EVP, Talent & Content Development, Virginia Moseley, EVP, Editorial, and Eric Sherling, EVP, U.S. Programming, along with David Leavy, COO, on the commercial side. We have great confidence in this group and will fully support them until a new CEO is named. We are in good hands, allowing us to take the time we need to run a thoughtful and thorough search for a new leader. I recognize that changes like this can be stressful and appreciate your continued patience as we move through this process. 

You’ve heard me say it many times: CNN has the greatest journalists in the world… we are deeply committed to supporting them and the critical work that CNN does every day. We must get this right – and we will!


By Hunter Fielding
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