Chris Licht, CNN’s president and CEO, declared to concerned staffers that the network would undergo more changes as he discussed the departure of Brian Stelter in the wake of the cancellation of Reliable Sources, a show he hosted on Sundays. That did little to calm the anxiety of the far-left network’s highly partisan staff.
Sources that attended the editorial meeting reported that Licht told CNN employees, “There will be moves you may not agree with or understand.” Some took that to mean they may not like some of the changes. Allegedly, Licht also said that he wanted to acknowledge to everyone that “this is a time of change” and it is unsettling.
Several media reports about CNN’s plans provoked some irritation from Licht, who described them as incorrect assumptions. The executive emphasized to staff that only a handful of people in the inner circle of CNN management know about these plans. “No one is safe or secure right now,” stated a CNN staffer to Deadline. An unnamed person from CNN told The Hollywood Reporter that “people are legitimately sad” that Brian is leaving. “He was a big presence at the network — but understand that Chris has to put his stamp on the network,” according to the same source.
Speaking at a recent meeting at City Hall, Licht assured staff members that the network will not resort to mandatory layoffs. According to him, the brass is in the process of examining the entire organization to see if resources are being deployed effectively. There will likely be changes as a result of that process, Licht said. In an earlier interview, the billionaire investor John Malone – who is among the biggest investors in CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery – said that he hoped that CNN “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists.”
When Jeff Zucker departed the network in February, Stelter spoke about Malone’s possible influence in his newsletter and addressed it on his show. He noted that the comments by Malone had “stoked fears that Discovery might stifle CNN journalists and steer away from calling out indecency and injustice.” The moves come in the wake of Licht telling CNN staffers throughout the summer that following the removal of Jeff Zucker as head of the company, he realized the network had experienced many changes in a short period of time, said a report on Daily Wire.
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For now, the future of the venture is unknown. One thing we do know is that the latest reliable sources will be hosted by Stelter on August 20 and will likely cover his exit. “As for me, well, I have to gather my thoughts,” Stelter posted on the expanded version of his “Reliable Sources” newsletter that is extensively read. According to a newsletter and social media, Oliver Darcy of Reliable Sources announced that he would stay at CNN. Following that, Licht made sure to highlight Darcy’s role and future plans at the meeting. “Oliver Darcy will be working on a new version of the ‘Reliable Sources’ newsletter,” he declared.