‘Internal fears’ grip CNN as CEO sets sights on ‘blowing up’ struggling morning show: sources

CNN boss Chris Licht has set his sights on “New Day,” the network’s struggling early morning show, as the next target he will be “blowing up.”

That’s according to The Daily Beast’s Confider newsletter, which cited anonymous sources to suggest there are “internal fears about future changes” because Licht keeps his cards close to his chest, leaving members of his own management team “in the dark about next moves.”

On that note, the Daily Beast reported that sources said Brian Stelter’s canning as host of “Reliable Sources” was leaked a day before the planned announcement.

“The news of Stelter’s axing was actually supposed to be announced Friday with a carefully managed story placed with NPR, sources told Confider, but the news leaked early, including — perhaps curiously — to two conservative outlets, the Daily Mail and the Tucker Carlson-founded Daily Caller, which were both tipped off on Thursday morning,” the outlet reported.

The sources claimed that opinionated CNN hosts like Don Lemon and Jim Acosta are safe for now, telling Confider that Licht will next turn his attention to ‘blowing up’ CNN’s ratings-challenged morning show “New Day.” The newsletter noted that Licht “brought on his old buddy Ryan Kadro from CBS to help rework it.”

Licht reportedly held an editorial meeting on Friday and informed CNN staff that the shake-up at the network is just getting started.

“I want to acknowledge that this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled,” he said, according to numerous sources. “There will be more changes, and you might not understand it or like it.”

Interestingly, the liberal media is beginning to paint billionaire investor John Malone as the proverbial bad guy by labeling him as “right-leaning.” Malone is one of the biggest investors in CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, and reportedly said that he wants CNN to “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists.”

More from Confider:

CNN insiders tell Confider that staffers cannot shake the feeling the shocking move was made to appease John Malone, a right-leaning billionaire, close friend of the Murdoch family, and key Warner Bros. Discovery board member who has made it well-known that he would like CNN to be more “centrist”—whatever that means.

While Malone has denied he is “directly involved” in any decisions about CNN, multiple current and former staffers who spoke to us relayed a fear that the libertarian mogul is indirectly dictating an agenda to newly installed CNN boss Chris Licht.


Malone has denied that he is “directly involved” in any decisions about CNN. In an email to The New York Times, Malone said that he had “nothing to do with” the cancellation of Stelter’s show and that he wants “the ‘news’ portion of CNN to be more centrist, but I am not in control or directly involved.”


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