Conservative commentator Megyn Kelly had strong words for embattled CNN CEO Chris Licht who is under intense fire and could soon be unemployed, likening him to legendary Fox News boss Roger Ailes and not in a good way.
On Tuesday’s edition of her SiriusXM podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show,” the host reacted to the recently published profile of Licht by The Atlantic that portrays him in a less than flattering light, a piece that worsened the internal strife at the cable news network that has marked his brief tenure and suggested that his attempt to emulate Ailes, a titanic figure who built the Fox dynasty, has failed miserably.
“In the piece, Licht comes across as self-aggrandizing and insecure, uttering phrases to a reporter like ‘I’m a machine!’ while pumping iron in the gym. My god, can you imagine? What kind of a man does that?” Kelly asked, noting that the piece also included much criticism of CNN, particularly over the hysterical coverage of COVID, words that ruffled feathers in a big way.
(Video: YouTube/The Megyn Kelly Show)
“Now, the CNN staffers are reportedly in full revolt. Their little feelings, already tender from the CNN town hall where Trump was platformed and spewed lies, are now extra hurt by the criticism they are receiving via The Atlantic from their boss.”
“In fact, I found myself agreeing with much of what Licht found faulty in the CNN he was inheriting after Jeff Zucker’s ouster,” Kelly added. “It is clear that Licht fancies himself as a mini Roger Ailes wannabe. But as I said on Friday, there was only one Roger Ailes — and Chris Licht ain’t it.”
“He has clearly read about Ailes and his approach to the news and in trying to satisfy his bosses at Time Warner-Discovery who want CNN to return to its nonpartisan roots, is trying to act the part,” she said, “but you can’t imitate your way to greatness.”
“For one thing, Ailes knew talent,” she continued. “How to find them, how to manage them, how to make them household names and then how to manage their egos once they became those household names. Better than anyone in the news business. Licht, his biggest accomplishments so far seem to be casting Don Lemon in that disastrous morning show on CNN which has already basically imploded and gotten Lemon fired, and elevating Kaitlan Collins as his next big star,” a big mistake according to Kelly.
“Collins seems a fine reporter with potential, but she doesn’t have anything close to the ‘it’ factor that has thrust many others into cable news stardom,” she stated.
“The difference between what Chris Licht is trying to do with the CNN staff and what Roger Ailes did at Fox News that made it such a juggernaut is Roger picked the right people,’ she continued. ‘He hired the right people whose values he understood and whose potential star talent he could judge, and then he let them loose,” Kelly said.
“What Chris Licht is trying to do is take a bunch of avowed leftists and make them fair, balanced reporters now and try to stop them from being themselves,” she added. “None of it works. It’s a recipe for disaster and the ratings are showing it.”
Despite his personal failings, there will never be another Roger Ailes and he left a legacy behind that few will ever be able to match, let alone aspire to, so great was his influence on the industry over his career that spanned decades until he passed away in 2017 at 77-years-old.
(Video: YouTube/Fox News)
Meanwhile, Licht has all the looks of a goner at CNN, already reeling from an in-house mutiny after the decision to give a nationally televised forum to former President Donald J. Trump at a New Hampshire town hall last month where he made mincemeat out of Collins. The profile in The Atlantic could soon prove to be a career killer as his enemies circle like sharks now that there is blood in the water.
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