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The Brian Stelter Show Is Over

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Dylan Byers
August 18, 2022

On Wednesday afternoon, I got a text from a reliable source that Brian Stelter, the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources and the lead author of its late-night newsletter of the same name, had been summoned to C.E.O. Chris Licht’s office. Apparently, Stelter emerged from the meeting looking ashen and refused to talk about the conversation with anyone. His co-author, Oliver Darcy, wrote Wednesday evening’s newsletter by himself. This morning, I confirmed that Stelter will be leaving CNN. His last episode of Reliable Sources will be this Sunday. 

Stelter’s departure is both totally unsurprising and yet completely and utterly stunning. Eleven years ago, he emerged onto the scene as David Carr’s younger sidekick in Page One, the documentary about The New York Times’ critical struggles during the financial crisis. At the time, he was a lowly junior media reporter whom the Times, long blinded by the transformations in its own industry, had hired to cover news at a more new-media pace. And unlike most Timesmen, who hail from Harvard or Yale and traditionally climbed the greasy pole of journalism through its exalted regional players, Brian had gone to Towson University and started his own obsessive blog about the TV news industry, TVNewser.