Can Chris Licht survive at CNN?

Staffers’ confidence is shaken, but the CEO is vowing to 'fight like hell to win back their trust.'


Reporters learn early in their careers to think two or three steps ahead. That’s why, while the media commentariat was talking about CNN CEO Chris Licht last Friday, some of CNN’s best-known journalists were thinking ahead and calling David Leavy.

Precisely 24 hours before The Atlantic published “Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” a 15,000-word defenestration of Licht, the cable news network announced Leavy as its new chief operating officer. The press release listed June 20 as Leavy’s start date. But the truth is Leavy started immediately — he had no other choice. He knew the article was about to hit. His boss David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, needed him to survey and repair the damage.

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