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Chris Licht, ‘Morning Joe’ creator and ‘Colbert’ producer, set to run CNN

Chris Licht, a veteran TV producer who helped create “Morning Joe” at MSNBC and later successfully reordered morning and late-night programming at CBS, will become CNN’s next leader. , according to three people with direct knowledge of the decision.

Mr. Licht, who is now executive producer of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” is poised to succeed Jeff Zucker, CNN president for a nine-year term. abrupt end this month when he resigned due to an undisclosed romantic relationship with a colleague.

He is expected to join the network after its parent company, WarnerMedia, completes its merger with Discovery Inc., a deal that could close in April. Mr. Licht and David Zaslav, directors Discovery’s executives, are social and professional friends who have known each other for more than a decade.

An official announcement is expected as early as next week. Puck first reported the selection of Mr. Licht.

Oversaw CNN – a vast news organization with a worldwide footprint, thousands of employees and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue – would be by far the biggest undertaking of his television career. Licht. And he is joining the network at a tumultuous time.

Its newsroom was stirred by the brilliant exit of Mr. Zucker, who commanded a deep loyalty between anchors and reporters. Its prime and morning time slot ratings were mired in third place behind rivals Fox News and MSNBC. And Discovery’s looming takeover has raised questions about the future direction of the network.

Mr. Licht is the co-creator of “Morning Joe,” the hugely successful MSNBC brand that still dominates that network’s morning lineup. He switched to CBS News in 2011, where he became widely recognized for turning the fortunes of “CBS This Morning,” adding hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King, and introducing a fun format. more freely.

In 2016, CBS invited Mr. Licht to take on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which struggled in its early months to ensure viewers and Colbert’s predecessor, David Letterman, received plenty of praise.

Mr. Licht designed The rating change was notable, encouraging Mr. Colbert to become more involved in current events and political news. He added live shows after major news events like election night and State of the Union speeches. By 2017, Mr. Colbert had achieved what Mr. Letterman had rarely done in his long career: surpassing NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in the charts, a winning streak that continues five years later. there.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/business/media/cnn-chris-licht.html Chris Licht, ‘Morning Joe’ creator and ‘Colbert’ producer, set to run CNN

Fry Electronics Team

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