CNN Appears Set To Name New CEO
Mark Thompson, chief executive officer of The New York Times Co., poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The New York Times will never compromise our principles to gain subscribers, said Thompson.
Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CNN appears set to name a new CEO in the coming days after the leftist network fired their last CEO over the summer following a damning profile piece and a town hall debacle involving former President Donald Trump.

Puck News reported that as early as tomorrow, CNN is expected to name former New York Times Company CEO and BBC director general Mark Thompson to be the network’s next chairman and CEO.

The report said that Thompson has a reputation for “restructuring legacy media assets and pursuing innovative growth strategies” and that he could not be more different than the network’s last CEO, Chris Licht.

Thompson “deftly architected a plan that rescued the business” at The New York Times “from its darkest financial hour in generations,” the report added. “His various restructurings and reorgs repositioned the Times Co. as a product-first company that successfully built out a portfolio of lifestyle businesses that supported the news gathering organization.”

Licht was fired from the company by Discovery CEO David Zaslav just 16 months after being picked for the position.

“For a number of reasons things didn’t work out and that’s unfortunate,” Zaslav said. “It’s really unfortunate. And ultimately that’s on me. And I take full responsibility for that.”

Zaslav told employees that CNN is “in the process of conducting a wide search” for a new leader that could “take a while.”

Licht’s tenure at CNN was rough from the start. Weeks after Licht took over the reins, the cable news giant’s attempt at launching a streaming service failed after a month in operation, attracting fewer than 10,000 daily users. The CNN executive also faced criticism from his employees and poor ratings performances in the news channel’s primetime slots.


Familiar faces on the network, such as longtime journalist Brian Stelter and host Don Lemon, were axed under Licht’s reign. The tumultuous leadership of Licht came to a boiling point when the network hosted a town hall with former President Donald Trump in May. Leftist critics ripped the company for giving Trump a platform. Politicians and media personalities from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Joe Scarborough were angered by CNN’s decision to host Trump on the platform that has consistently offered friendly coverage to Democrats.

Zach Jewell contributed to this report. 

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