CNN has a new sheriff in town, and CEO Chris Licht is reportedly evaluating anchors who do not adopt a “non-biased” approach.
On his first day at work, he told staff that he wants fact-based reporting and much less reliance on opinionated programming. He inherits a situation where the heavily promoted CNN+ platform was axed after one abysmal month and scandal upon scandal ripped through the network.
His reforms, depending on the level of sincerity, will take some doing at this point. However, people close to the situation say he is intent on cracking down on biased reporting.
So much so, they claim, that some top talent may get their walking papers if they cannot adapt to his new policies.
It’s no secret that the network drifted even further leftward during the Trump administration as talking heads battled to be the most outraged by the president. Among those who may need to dust off resumes if not willing to adapt, according to analysts, are Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter.
Both are frequent targets of conservative critics who paint them as leaders of the network’s leftward lurch. Insiders tell multiple media sources that interviewers are to be respectful without resorting to grandstanding and programming is to focus on detail and less on advocacy.
Licht showed his preference for traditional reporting last week when he distributed a memo on the network’s overuse of “Breaking News” banners. This, he said, goes against his policy of “informing, not alarming our viewers.”
This shift comes after the new chairman and CEO told workers that he will emphasize what is successful for the network and “eliminate what’s not.” He reportedly is giving some time to CNN’s more partisan voices to get onboard with the program. How much time is unknown.
Licht is the personal choice of incoming Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. He also told employees he wants the focus to be on facts and to end the network’s “advocacy” status.
People of a certain age never watched CNN before it became a shill and mouthpiece for the Democratic establishment. Nothing’s perfect, but there was a time when it could honestly claim to be a “trusted” source. That time ended a while back, but the new shift bears watching.