Opinion | Inside Chris Licht’s doomed ending at CNN and what happens next

As it always does in TV, it came down to two things: money and ratings. Under Licht’s leadership, CNN struggled with both.


One week ago today, David Zaslav — who runs CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery — made an announcement. He was taking one of his top lieutenants, a man named David Leavy, and making him COO of CNN Worldwide.

On the surface, it seemed like a move to help take some of the business responsibilities off the plate of CNN CEO Chris Licht. That way, Licht could concentrate on critical matters such as ratings, on-air performance and programming. According to the organizational chart, Leavy was going to report to Licht.

But many saw the move for what it was: Zaslav telling one of his guys to get in there, poke around and then report back with what the heck was going on at CNN. 

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