Employees at CNN are reportedly panicking as Chris Licht, the company’s new chairman and CEO, is continuing to cut some of the network’s most hyper-partisan leftist “talent.”
The Daily Mail reported that staffers at the far-left network, which is trying to become more nonpartisan, “fear a network-wide purge” of “woke” talent at the company.
“People are freaked out,” one CNN journalist said. “It almost feels like there’s a pattern. Is there a purge going on? They seem to be sending a message: ‘Watch what you say. Watch what you do.’”
“Longtime CNN personalities are disappearing, and the viewers don’t know why,” another CNN employee said. A producer for the network said it was an “unsettling time from top to bottom at CNN” and that no one “is happy right now.”
The panic comes after CNN parted ways with hard-left White House Correspondent John Harwood this week following hyper-partisan remarks from Harwood, including a tweet in which Harwood claimed, “Biden’s assertion that Trump and extremist Republicans pose a threat to American democracy is, undeniably, true.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Harwood reached out to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and asked him, “What should I ask Jeb?” The Hill noted at the time that Jeb Bush, at the time the email was sent, was the leading Republican contender to take on Clinton.
Harwood’s departure comes weeks after former CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter recorded his last show and exited the network. Stelter’s exit reportedly came at the behest of CNN chief Chris Licht, who took over the network in February after Jeff Zucker’s exit. Licht has reportedly been driving CNN toward adopting a more nonpartisan stance in its news coverage.
Licht started to evaluate the hyper-partisan so-called “talent” at the network shortly after he joined CNN as he aimed to dial down the extreme partisanship that has plagued the network in recent years.
“I want to acknowledge that this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled,” Licht said, according to numerous people who attended Friday’s editorial meeting call. “There will be more changes, and you might not understand it or like it.”
Warner Bros. Discovery canceled CNN’s new subscription streaming service, CNN+, earlier this year after it experienced significant struggles in attracting an audience.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.