OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:49 PM – Monday, June 5, 2023
During the Cable News Network’s 9 a.m. ET call, anxious CNN CEO Chris Licht apologized to the newsroom’s staff, according to insider sources familiar with the situation.
In a 15,000-word feature article that was released by The Atlantic on Friday, Licht informed staff members that he “did not recognize himself.” In the story, Licht discussed his opinions of CNN’s reporting and his first-year efforts to win over staff members and ultimately gain their respect.
Many CNN employees reportedly felt that the Licht magazine profile displayed bad judgment at a time when network ratings are declining and staff members were openly protesting his choice to broadcast a Donald Trump town hall last month in front of hundreds of Trump’s adoring supporters.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was reportedly very dissatisfied with the piece, which was titled “Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” and agreed that the situation was handled improperly.
Licht indicated during the call that he understood staffers’ frustration and is committed to earning his employees’ trust again, according to the insiders.
He did not directly answer any questions regarding why he participated in The Atlantic article, in which reporter Tim Alberta spent months with Licht, including accompanying him at the gym during a personal training session and witnessing backstage CNN programming rehearsals.
CNN’s spokesperson declined to comment.
Licht also recently announced the hiring of David Leavy on Thursday as the network’s new chief operational officer. Leavy will be tasked with taking over marketing, public relations, advertising sales, facilities, and other logistics.
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