CNN Hires New Network President: Report
By Jason Hall
February 26, 2022
Veteran television producer Chris Licht has been selected as CNN's next network president, multiple sources with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CNN Business.
Licht's hiring is expected to officially be announced next week, a source confirmed, however, neither side has commented on the expected deal.
The decision comes amid the upcoming merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia -- which CNN is a subsidiary of -- this spring.
Licht has more than two decades of experience in television news and is created with the launch of the MSNBC series Morning Joe, as well as revamping CBS This Morning and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he currently works as an executive producer and show runner, as well as an executive vice president of special programming at ViacomCBS, which includes consulting on programming for the company's networks.
The veteran producer's contract with CBS is set to expire in April, which aligns with Discovery's merger with WarnerMedia, a source confirmed to CNN Business.
AT&T, the parent company of WarnerMedia, plans to spin off its subsidiaries -- including CNN -- in the coming weeks before its merger between Warner and Discovery, with current Discovery CEO David Zaslav heading the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery, which is scheduled to take effect in April.
Zaslav has discussed potential candidates to lead CNN since the resignation of former network president Jeff Zucker earlier this month.
Zucker announced his resignation on February 2 after nine years with the company due to his failure to disclose his relationship with chief marketing officer Allison Gollust.
"As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo's tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years," Zucker said in a memo addressed to employees shared by CNN.com. "I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began, but I didn't. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today."