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Chris Licht steps down as chairman, CEO of Warner Bros Discovery’s CNN after a year

Chris Licht has stepped down as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros Discovery-owned newscaster CNN Worldwide after a chaotic 13 months in charge.

Chris Licht

Licht is standing down from the role he took up last year, when he succeeded Jeff Zucker, with immediate effect, Warner Bros Discovery announced this afternoon.

An interim leadership team has been put in place made up of Amy Entelis, exec VP of talent and content development; Virginia Moseley, exec VP of editorial; and Eric Sherling, exec VP of US programming; as well as David Leavy, chief operating officer on the commercial side.

Licht assumed the role in May 2022 having previously been exec VP of special programming at US broadcast network CBS and executive producer and showrunner for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Prior to that, he was VP of programming for CBS News and executive producer of the network’s morning news programme CBS This Morning, which he helped launch in 2012. Prior to CBS, Licht was the co-creator and original executive producer of MSNBC’s morning news show Morning Joe.

Warner Bros Discovery says Licht is standing down but his time atop CNN has been troubled.

He axed streaming service CNN+ just a month after it was launched, and embarked on a wave of staff cuts after a six-month review.

Schedule changes caused ratings to tank, long-serving host Don Lemon was fired after 17 years with the network after several controversial on-air exchanges and a town hall debate with Donald Trump was widely panned for failing to challenge the former president when he voiced lies and propaganda.

“I have great respect for Chris, personally and professionally,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Warner Bros Discovery.

“The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy, especially at a time of huge disruption and transformation, and he has poured his heart and soul into it. While we know we have work to do as we look to identify a new leader, we have absolute confidence in the team we have in place and will continue to fight for CNN and its world-class journalism.”


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