Licht of Arabia

Chris Licht emerged at the event under the banner of his own company, Licht Media.
Chris Licht emerged at the event under the banner of his own company, Licht Media. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
December 8, 2023

Six months ago, almost to the day, David Zaslav summoned Chris Licht to an impromptu morning meeting in Central Park and informed him that he was being fired. Since then, but for a few untoward paparazzi photos, the former CNN chairman and C.E.O. has mostly disappeared. He went to Kenya, I’m told, summered in New England, was spotted now and again at the Polo Bar, and made the occasional trip to Los Angeles, where he tested the town’s willingness to welcome him back into the fold. But for the most part, he seemed to retreat from public view. 

Alas, this is what happens when you leave the game, and it’s as true for executives like Bob Iger during the Chapek interregnum as it is for talent like, say, Brian Williams or Don Lemon. Life goes on, maybe even gets better. But the klieg lights get taken down immediately, until you declare yourself ready to return to the field. And for egos addicted to the spotlight—you know, the type who might let a reporter accompany them to a predawn workout—it can be hard to sit on the sidelines for long.