Since CEO Chris Licht was fired, CNN has been displaying a divisive atmosphere, indicating a shift back to the Jeff Zucker-era of liberal opinion programming that previously damaged CNN’s nonpartisan image.
Some media critics think that CNN is being chaotically run by its employees after the departure of Licht.
Licht expressed his desire to reduce the liberal and anti-Trump stance that characterized his predecessor Zucker. During his time in office, he encountered opposition from within his organization. This reached a climax when he invited former President Trump to a CNN town hall event last month.
Licht was terminated last week after serving for just over a year, as he had lost the trust of both the newsroom and Warner Bros. He also lost a great deal of support from several CNN employees after revealing intentions to cancel CNN+ before his official start. He received criticism for working in an office several floors from the newsroom.
Additionally, he was accused of being aloof and disconnected from CNN’s most prominent personalities. Reporters like Christiane Amanpour publicly criticized him for airing the Trump town hall. Anderson Cooper told viewers he would understand if they stopped watching CNN because of the spectacle.
According to reports, Cooper and Jake Tapper expressed their dissatisfaction with Licht to Warner Bros. Discovery executives, while CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy openly criticized his former boss.
Jeffrey McCall, a media critic and professor at DePauw University, believes that internal forces at CNN were responsible for the firing of Jonathan Licht. McCall thinks that Licht’s goal of returning CNN to a more objective and professional approach to journalism and away from the activist and agenda-driven vision of the Zucker era was not well-received by these internal forces.
Without Licht, there seems to be no one to support a fair and unbiased approach to reporting the news.
According to Curtis Houck, NewsBusters managing editor, Licht’s modifications to CNN were not noteworthy, except for giving the audience access to Trump’s statements. The CNN network changed its chyrons and tried to book Republican lawmakers, but the overall tone of the network remained unchanged under Licht’s leadership.
Houck notes that there has been a resurgence of snark and juvenile chyrons, causing aggression and division. CNN may be trying to improve its ratings by becoming more like MSNBC, but viewers should be aware of what CNN is.