Multiple polls show that left-leaning CNN’s ratings have been in a freefall since Donald Trump left office. Chris Licht’s firing of scandal-ridden hosts, producers and CEO Jeff Zucker opened the door for him to take the helm. But the New York Post reported that “CNN ratings tank in first weeks under [the] new boss.”
Looking to shake things up, notable hosts such as Rachael Maddow, Chris Wallace and Brian Stelter were swept aside, and insiders report that Licht’s ax will continue to hack away at the old guard.
Licht is reportedly taking aim at the network’s morning show, “New Day,” according to The Daily Wire.
Insiders report the firing of Stelter, who had been with CNN for 13 years, came as a surprise and made clear the CEO was serious about moving CNN from far left to a more centrist position, a change reportedly encouraged by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief shareholder John Malone.
In advance of Stelter’s last Sunday broadcast, Licht reportedly told staff that he acknowledged “this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled. There will be more changes, and you might not understand it or like it.”
RadarOnline.com reported that “New Day,” a show started by Jeff Zucker, is “circling the drain.” Reportedly, it will be axed and “replaced by a roundtable-type program patterned after MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ possibly hosted by Jake Tapper,” according to RadarOnline.
Licht has made attempts to lure Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, husband and wife hosts on a rival network, to CNN.
Speaking about what is likely to develop at CNN, an insider told RadarOnline:
“Chris comes from the same breeding ground as Zucker: morning television. He wants to establish a popular morning show that sets the agenda for the network each day. He doesn’t want to change anchors frequently. He wants strength and stability — and believes it all starts in the all-important morning timeslot.”
Zucker launched “New Day” in 2013 with hosts Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira. Brianna Keilar and John Berman currently host the show.
Over the summer, Licht told the CNN staff:
“You heard me say in my first town hall that I am going to make decisions slower than some would like. I know this organization has been through tremendous change over the last four months, which is why I am approaching this process slowly and thoughtfully as we look at all parts of the operation. We will realign where it makes sense to best serve our people and the business.”