‘We’re all flawed’: Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav admits embattled CNN CEO Chris Licht has gotten ‘a lot wrong’ in his bid to de-wokify news channel
- Rumors have been swirling that CNN CEO Chris Licht may be fired by Labor Day
- Warner Bros. Discovery – which owns CNN – CEO David Zaslav reiterated his support of Licht during a town hall meeting with CNN managers on Wednesday
- Zaslav conceded Licht hadn’t done a perfect job, but said he was operating without a guidebook in his quest to reshape CNN as an objective news outlet
Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO has blasted new CNN boss Chris Licht’s ‘wrong’ decisions while insisting he is still standing behind the embattled network boss.
David Zaslav, who personally selected Licht for the role, conceded the CEO had gotten ‘a lot wrong’ of the course of his nearly one-year tenure helming the network.
Warner Bros. Discovery acquired CNN in 2022 and installed Licht to lead the purge of leftist reporting and attempt to reshape the network as an objective outlet.
But this month, insiders at CNN said Licht was bungling his role, and that he would likely be ousted by Labor Day.
Addressing about 600 CNN managers in a town hall meeting Wednesday, Zaslav refuted those rumors and insisted he had faith in Licht.
Rumors have been swirling that CNN CEO Chris Licht may be fired by Labor Day
Warner Bros. Discovery – which owns CNN – CEO David Zaslav reiterated his support of Licht during a town hall meeting with CNN managers on Wednesday
During the meeting, Zaslav tried to rally the CNN staff, which has been rocked by countless shake-ups and restructurings since Licht took over last May.
‘This is our rendezvous with destiny,’ Zaslav said, according to The New York Post.
‘There’s not a playbook for Chris’ job. He’s gotten a lot wrong. We’ve gotten a lot wrong. That’s how it works,’ he said. ‘We’re all flawed. We are trying to figure out what is best for CNN.’
‘It’s a moment for Chris and I know it’s a moment for you and for all of us that have shared a mission,’ he added.
He also insisted Licht was ‘bringing CNN back to its roots’ by refocusing the network on ‘objective journalism and telling the truth.’
‘We are not an advocacy network,’ he said.
Zaslav’s comments come days after insiders at CNN told The Post that Licht ‘hates the job and can’t do it.’
The sources said much of the staff was fed up with Licht’s leadership, characterizing him as overly-insulated and out of touch with staff.
‘He’s constantly with an entourage,’ one said. ‘You see him rush by with his lackeys, but he doesn’t stop to talk with us regular folk. It’s like he’s scared of us.’
‘The joke is that he’s never alone,’ the source said. ‘Does he go to the bathroom alone?’
‘No wonder he had no idea that [Lemon], Poppy [Harlow] and Kaitlan [Collins] were never going to gel.’ the source said. ‘He doesn’t have his ear to the ground.’
CNN host Don Lemon tells the world women over 40 years-old are past their prime
CNN has been attempting to shed its image as a left-wing mouthpiece and become an objective news outlet. Chris Licht was appointed CEO last May to lead the campaign
Just weeks ago CNN was tossed into turmoil after Don Lemon caused national outrage by saying presidential candidate Nikki Haley – and all women – were past their prime if they were older than 40.
Lemon’s comments capped off months of palpable tension between his CNN This Morning Co Anchors, Harlow and Collins, a show which has drawn in consistently low ratings and become symbolic of the network’s troubles.
Representatives from CNN refuted the claims of Licht’s impending exit, saying ‘time will prove this story wrong.’
‘We won’t be distracted by cheap shots from competitors and anonymous naysayers.’
Warner Bros. Discovery representatives called the rumors total BS,’ and told The post ‘Chris has Zaslav’s full support. Zaslav is always publicly supportive of Chris.’
Some sources also told The Post that the rumors about Licht were being circulated by loyalists of CNN’s former CEO he replaced, Jeff Zucker.
“There are still holdouts who hope that Zucker will come back and buy CNN,” the source said, adding that Zucker was ‘beloved’ by many who remain.