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Inside CNN, Lichtxiety Runs Amok

Jim Acosta
CNN anchor Jim Acosta. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
June 15, 2022

Tomorrow morning, CNN chief Chris Licht will host his second staff-wide town hall since taking over the cable news network six weeks ago. The presentation, which will be broadcast from Atlanta—Licht’s next stop on a bureau tour that also includes Washington, Los Angeles, and London—comes as many of the network’s journalists remain on edge about where they stand in the eyes of their new leader, and whether or not they fit in with his vision for a less-polarizing, non-partisan, post-Zucker, Zaz-friendly CNN. 

Those anxieties, which have been simmering for months, ever since influential Discovery board member and cable founding father John Malone called on CNN to “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with,” were set ablaze after Axios’ Sara Fischer reported that Licht was “evaluating partisan talent” to see if they could re-align themselves with his new mandate. “Have you heard anything about the reality of that report?” one decidedly non-partisan talent asked me this week. “It kind of screwed with my head.”