Despite the uncertainty that followed CNN after the merger with Warner Bros./Discovery and the rapid demise of fledgling streaming service CNN+, the network appears to have a new plan going forward — and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has already given that plan a tentative nod.
“A month into his tenure as the new leader of CNN, Chris Licht is changing the news network from the Jeff Zucker days, encouraging less hype and more nuance. Some at the network are skeptical,” The New York Times tweeted.
Bye-bye, "breaking news" banners.
A month into his tenure as the new leader of CNN, Chris Licht is changing the news network from the Jeff Zucker days, encouraging less hype and more nuance. Some at the network are skeptical. https://t.co/BZhOE135Z5
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 5, 2022
The Times noted that Licht, who previously worked for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” made a rapid jump from managing a show that employed around 200 people to running a major network that employed some 4000 — and the report claimed that “some CNN journalists say they wonder if he can navigate a sprawling, unwieldy global news network past what has been a no good, very bad year.”
In addition to the decidedly inauspicious launch of CNN+, the network lost one of its most-watched anchors when Chris Cuomo was fired in part for advising his brother — former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) — amid his own sexual harassment and assault allegations.
A short time later — just weeks ahead of the merger and the streaming service launch — CNN’s former head Jeff Zucker announced his resignation over an undisclosed relationship with employee Allison Gollust. Despite rumors that their involvement had been an “open secret,” Zucker resigned immediately after disclosing the relationship — and Gollust followed him out the door shortly thereafter.
Licht has made it clear since taking control of the network that he plans to run things differently than Zucker did — and one of the changes he’s promoting is a lighter touch on the “breaking news” banner.
“CNN’s ubiquitous ‘Breaking News’ banner is gone, now reserved for instances of truly urgent events,” the NYT reported. “Snarky onscreen captions … are discouraged. Political shows are trying to book more conservative voices, and producers have been urged to ignore Twitter backlash from the far right and the far left.”
But while those inside the network may have their doubts, Elon Musk appears to believe it’s worth a shot.
“This sounds promising,” he tweeted in response to the NYT report.
This sounds promising
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2022