CNN brass is reportedly planning to shake up the network’s morning show “New Day” as its next move following the abrupt dismissal of ex-anchor Brian Stelter.
CNN President Chris Licht is set on “blowing up” the morning programming block due to poor ratings, a report said late Monday.
Licht, who previously served as executive producer on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “CBS This Morning” prior to taking CNN’s top job, has tapped fellow ex-CBS staffer Ryan Kadro to lead the overhaul, the Daily Beast reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
CNN is in the midst of a transformation led by Licht and WarnerBros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who are pushing the left-leaning network toward a greater emphasis on fact-driven and non-partisan news coverage.
Licht addressed his plans at an upfront presentation in May, stating the network wanted to “reimagine” the morning show but providing no further details.
Stelter, a frequent foe for conservatives, was forced out last week and his show “Reliable Sources” was canceled. As The Post reported, CNN nixed the program as it prepares to unveil a refreshed Sunday lineup that includes “Who’s Talking With Chris Wallace.”
Network insiders told the Daily Beast that CNN staffers “cannot shake the feeling” that John Malone, an influential shareholder and board member at WarnerBros. Discovery, played a role in Stelter’s exit. Last week, Malone admitted that he wanted CNN to be “more centrist,” even as he denied any involvement in Stelter’s demise.
But the outlet reported that “multiple current and former staffers” fear that Malone is “indirectly dictating an agenda” that is being carried out by Licht.
Speculation about Malone’s potential involvement has swirled for days – with one guest on Stelter’s final show at CNN going as far as to float the possibility in front of the outgoing anchor.
The report noted that Stelter’s exit from CNN after a nearly decade-long run was set to be revealed in an NPR story last week, but the news leaked early, with multiple outlets receiving tips that he was being ousted.
Additionally, fellow left-leaning anchors Don Lemon and Jim Acosta – also vocal critics of the conservative agenda – are said to be safe from dismissal for the time being.
“We don’t comment on speculation,” a CNN spokesperson told The Post.
In a meeting last week, Licht warned CNN staffers to expect “more changes” at the network in the days ahead.
“This is a time of change, and I know that it’s unsettling,” Licht said.
“There will be more changes and you might not understand it or like it all,” he added.