After just over a year heading CNN, CEO and Chairman Chris Licht is out at the cable news network.
In a call with employees on Wednesday, the head of Warner Bros. Discovery — the company that owns CNN — confirmed Licht’s exit.
“I met with Chris and he will be leaving CNN,” David Zaslav said in the company’s daily editorial call, according to CNN.
Licht was named chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide in April 2022.
“For a number of reasons things didn’t work out, and that’s unfortunate,” Zaslav said Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “It’s really unfortunate, and ultimately that’s on me. And I take full responsibility for that.
“This job was never going to be easy, especially at a time of great disruption and transformation. ... Chris poured his heart and soul into this job. Like all of you, he was in the line of fire and he’s taken a lot of hits. We appreciate his efforts, his passion, his love for journalism, and his love for this business.”
Licht’s exit comes days after an unflattering profile in The Atlantic prompted him to apologize to staff members. On Monday, he told employees that he would “fight like hell” to win their trust back, though several staffers said his apology came “too little, too late,” according to CNN.
During his time heading CNN, Licht oversaw a number of changes, including the shuttering of the network’s short-lived CNN+ service and the debut of a new morning show originally featuring Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins as hosts.
Licht told friends when he took the job at CNN that he thought it was a “calling,” The New York Times reported. However, ratings and employee morale dropped dramatically during his tenure, according to The Atlantic.
It was not immediately clear who would take the reigns next at CNN.