CNN boss Chris Licht slammed liberals for criticizing his move to make CNN less partisan, saying it only makes him more confident about his decisions. 

“The uninformed vitriol, especially from the left, has been stunning,” Licht, who took over the cable network in May, told The New York Times. “Which proves my point: So much of what passes for news is name-calling, half-truths and desperation.”

Licht was tasked with bringing CNN back to its hard-news roots, to tamp down on anti-Trump, left-leaning punditry, and to cut costs.

He told the Times he thinks of people in the political center as “normal” — but insists appealing to “normal” people doesn’t mean the content should be boring.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bulls—,” Licht told the Financial Times in November. “You have to be compelling. You have to have edge.”

He told the Times he wants the network to be a place for “rational conversation about polarizing issues.” 

Photo of Chris Licht.
Chris Licht has been in charge of CNN since May.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Licht said his dream is for viewers, after watching CNN, “take what they’ve heard to the dinner table and have a discussion.”  

He also revealed that President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav had to lobby him for several weeks to the take job, which he now views as a calling. 

Despite being at the job for less than a year, Licht’s tenure has been filled with drama and layoffs. He cut hundreds of jobs earlier this month as the network’s profits tank.

He started his job a day after the network’s streaming service CNN+ was shuttered less than a month after it launched.


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Tyler Cowan