- Major CNN talent voiced concerns about CEO Chris Licht, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Citing those close to the matter, WSJ said several hosts spoke to incoming COO David Leavy.
- The report follows a disastrous profile of Licht in The Atlantic by Tim Alberta.
The Journal, citing anonymous sources close to the matter, reported that Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, and Erin Burnett have all criticized Licht. The report follows a disastrous profile in The Atlantic, a widely-panned town hall with former President Donald Trump, and an ongoing ratings slump.
CNN announced that Leavy would be joining CNN 24 hours before Tim Alberta’s Atlantic piece dropped, and though the new COO does not start until June 20, the Journal reports he’s already been talking with producers and hosts.
The Journal reported that Licht is seen as more aloof and walled off from the newsroom, which contrasts with the style of his predecessor Jeff Zucker, who was often in the scrum.
Licht joined the network a little over a year ago and has been trying to boost ratings, shake up programming, and bring independent and Republican viewers back to the network.
The changes have not been without their road bumps. The network faced personnel issues with a new morning show helmed by Poppy Harlow, Kaitlan Collins, and Don Lemon. CNN and Lemon parted ways in April. His split with the network followed remarks that former South Carolina governor and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime.”
And its highly-publicized CNN Town Hall with Trump — while boosting ratings to 3.3 million on the night itself — led to both internal and external criticism of the network.
Representatives for Cooper, Tapper, and CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The executive producer of “OutFront with Erin Burnett” did not immediately respond to comment.
As Insider’s Global Editor in Chief Nich Carlson reported over the weekend, the media elite were shocked by Alberta’s profile and Licht’s behavior. Now, it appears that the call is also coming from inside the house.