CNN boss Chris Licht made his first two big on-air hires Tuesday, following weeks of pushing out some of the network’s boldface names.

Licht told staffers on a call that he has tapped John Miller as CNN’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. Miller most recently served as the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.

Prior to that, he worked as a correspondent for CBS News and ABC News, where he landed a rare interview with Osama bin Laden in 1998. He also was the former co-anchor of ABC’s “20/20” and worked for a decade as an investigative reporter for WNBC in New York.

“John will help deliver on CNN’s committment to tackle complex issues while presenting audiences with independent, objective news and meaningful analysis across platforms,” Licht said. “As both a brilliant journalist and experienced, compelling subject matter expert, he brings to the network an incredible breadth of knowledge.”

Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller speaks to the media about ways to eradicate illegal guns form the streets of the city on May 11, 2020 in New York City,
CNN has hired John Miller, NYPD’s former deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, as its new chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst.
John Lamparski/Sipa USA

Miller, who starts his new gig today, added that he has worked closely with Licht and “shares his editorial vision,” which includes “speed, passion but not at the expense of objectivity.”

Licht also announced another high-profile hire from CBS News, telling staff that Dr. Tara Narula would be joining as a medical correspondent for the network.

The hires come as Licht has begun to make his mark on the network as it moves away from opinion-based reports under his predecessor, Jeff Zucker. Zucker resigned in February, citing a romantic relationship with a colleague.

A CNN logo is displayed over the entrance to the CNN Center in Atlanta
CNN is getting a makeover at the hands of Chris Licht, who is trying to restore more balanced, fact-centric journalism to the network, as it moves away from punditry.

Licht, who joined the cable news network in May, has already ousted some of CNN’s voices most critical of former President Donald Trump. The list included media reporter Brian Stelter, whose show “Reliable Sources” was canceled last month, as well as legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and political correspondent John Harwood.

Licht has made it a priority to reach out to leaders of both major political parties, according to reports, as he looks to strike a more balanced tone at the network.

The new boss is also looking to reinvent CNN’s morning program, which will likely result in an overhaul of its anchor lineup. Currently, “New Day” is hosted by John Berman and Brianna Keilar.


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Tyler Cowan