Multinational news-based pay television channel CNN’s new leader, Chris Licht, is monitoring anchors to ensure their tone adheres to the network’s strategy to become less partisan — and those who fail to do so may be fired, according to a report.
Licht, who is spearheading a push toward more fact-based reporting, is believed to be considering whether certain anchors and CNN shows can adapt to the change. He is assessing whether contentious characters and programming from the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority of being less politicized.
He is cracking down on biased news reporting and has threatened to fire some of the network’s highest-paid employees if they continue to promote a liberal agenda. Those who do not comply with the network’s new priority of being “less political” risk being fired, reports said.
Licht is allegedly not trying to eliminate primetime personality programming, but he does want CNN’s news staff to convey material in a way that supports the network’s obvious ideals of unbiased reporting. According to analysts, this might be a problem for network correspondents like Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, who have ‘become the face of the network’s left turn.’
The possible firings are just the most recent of Licht’s efforts to clean up the network. He issued orders earlier this month to reduce the usage of ‘Breaking News’ graphics and revealed intentions to create a new organizational structure at CNN.
Before firing anyone, Licht wants the controversial characters to show they are willing to respect the network’s ideals, insiders said. He specifically requests that on-air talent, producers, and bookers make programming selections that are centered on ‘nuance’ and do not harm the CNN brand, which was previously considered ‘the most trusted name in news.’
During the Trump administration and under the direction of former CNN president Jeff Zucker, CNN’s tone grew more politicized and aggressive. Some on-air personalities, such as Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, have become the face of the network’s liberal shift, according to conservative critics.
The CEO does not necessarily want to avoid personality programming, especially during prime time, but he does want to ensure that partisan voices do not dominate in a way that undermines CNN, according to a source.
Licht and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav have made no secret of their desire to shift away from politicized and alarmist programming and move towards traditional journalism. Zaslav and mentor and investor John Malone have made it clear that they want CNN to shift away from progressive opinion.
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