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The Zaz in CNN

WBD C.E.O. David Zaslav, at the end of the 9 a.m. call, described CNN as an “unmoored boat.” But, he said, “this is our company, our boat. We all have an oar.”
WBD C.E.O. David Zaslav described CNN as an “unmoored boat.” But, he said, “this is our company, our boat. We all have an oar.” Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
March 15, 2023

On Tuesday morning, CNN chairman and C.E.O. Chris Licht arrived at his network’s 9 a.m. editorial meeting with a surprise guest: his boss, David Zaslav. The timing of Zaz’s visit to CNN’s “Grand Central” conference room was notable to network insiders. A day earlier, Page Six had floated an incredulous rumor that Licht might be defenestrated before Labor Day—or, at the very least, that CNN staffers were whispering about that potentially, possibly, maybe happening. Whether previously scheduled or unintentional, Zaz was showing up to support his boy in Hudson Yards.

Zaz has no intention of ousting his hand-picked CNN chief, sources familiar with his thinking tell me. But his visit to CNN’s headquarters—which also included a managers’ meeting, a sit-down with a top producer, a preview of Licht’s new daytime branding effort, and a briefing with the digital team—suggests that he is indeed taking a more aggressive, hands-on approach to one of the more beleaguered assets in his portfolio.