HomeBusinessChris Licht, a Creator of ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Colbert’ Producer, Is Set...

Chris Licht, a Creator of ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Colbert’ Producer, Is Set to Run CNN

Chris Licht, a veteran tv producer who helped create “Morning Joe” at MSNBC and later efficiently retooled morning and late-night programming at CBS, is about to be the following chief of CNN, based on three folks with direct information of the choice.

Mr. Licht, 50, who’s at present the chief producer of “Late Present with Stephen Colbert,” is poised to succeed Jeff Zucker, the CNN president whose nine-year tenure abruptly ended this month when he resigned over an undisclosed romantic relationship with a colleague.

He’s anticipated to affix the community as soon as its mum or dad firm, WarnerMedia, completes a merger with Discovery Inc., a deal that might shut by April. Mr. Licht and David Zaslav, the chief government of Discovery, are skilled and social buddies who’ve identified one another for greater than a decade.

Discussions between Mr. Licht and Mr. Zaslav started shortly after Mr. Zucker’s departure, and accelerated over the previous two weeks, one of many folks stated. A proper announcement is predicted as quickly as this coming week. Puck first reported the information of Mr. Licht’s choice.

Overseeing CNN — a sprawling information group with a worldwide footprint, 1000’s of workers and tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} in annual income — can be by far the most important endeavor of Mr. Licht’s profession in tv. And he’s becoming a member of the community at a time of turmoil.

Its newsroom was roiled by the beautiful exit of Mr. Zucker, who commanded deep loyalty amongst anchors and correspondents. Its prime-time and morning rankings have been mired in third place behind rivals Fox Information and MSNBC. And the looming takeover by Discovery has raised questions in regards to the future path of the community.

Mr. Licht is a co-creator of “Morning Joe,” the massively profitable MSNBC franchise that also dominates that community’s morning lineup. He jumped to CBS Information in 2011, the place he was extensively credited with turning across the fortunes of “CBS This Morning,” including the hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King and introducing a chattier, extra freewheeling format.

In 2016, CBS tapped Mr. Licht to take over “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert,” which had struggled in its early months to safe viewers and the vital reward loved by Mr. Colbert’s predecessor, David Letterman.

Mr. Licht engineered a exceptional rankings turnaround, encouraging Mr. Colbert to extra forcefully have interaction with present occasions and political information. He added dwell reveals after main information occasions like election nights and State of the Union speeches. By 2017, Mr. Colbert had achieved one thing Mr. Letterman not often did in his lengthy profession: besting NBC’s “The Tonight Present” within the rankings, a successful streak that continues 5 years later.

Late-night comedy is a distinct problem than a world community on the scale of CNN.

The channel at present has dozens of journalists on the bottom in Ukraine masking the Russian invasion. It’s weeks away from beginning a brand new digital subscription service, CNN+, a late entry within the information streaming wars to which the community has devoted tens of tens of millions of {dollars}. Mr. Zucker’s exit was additionally adopted by the pressured resignation of his romantic accomplice, Allison Gollust, who served as CNN’s communications and advertising and marketing chief.

Underneath Mr. Zucker, the channel’s programming moved into extra partisan territory, pushed partially by the scathing assaults it confronted from then-President Donald J. Trump. Just lately, John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media who will likely be a key participant within the soon-to-be-formed Warner Bros. Discovery, lamented publicly that CNN had drifted from its conventional down-the-middle information protection.

Mr. Licht is more likely to have the full-throated assist of Mr. Zaslav, the Discovery chief government. The boys dine collectively a number of occasions a 12 months, and Mr. Licht has been a daily attendee of Mr. Zaslav’s starry Labor Day weekend social gathering in East Hampton, N.Y.

Mr. Licht, a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse communications college at Syracuse College (the place a management room for college kids is known as after him), began his tv profession in native information. He labored in Los Angeles across the time of the O.J. Simpson trial and hung out in San Francisco earlier than transferring to MSNBC, the place he turned a producer of Joe Scarborough’s discuss present.

He has a household connection to his new employer: His spouse, Jenny Blanco, labored at CNN for a number of years as a producer for the anchor Anderson Cooper after which as a director of expertise recruiting and improvement. They started courting whereas on project on the Athens Summer time Olympics in 2004.

James B. Stewart contributed reporting.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments