CNN CEO Chris Licht revealed he has no plans to move the much-mocked cable news channel to the political center as he is leading many changes following the ouster of former head Jeff Zucker.
Talking with the Financial Times, Licht said it was a big misconception he wants to stop CNN's ultra liberal bias that saw its rise with the candidacy of Donald Trump, only to increase after he won the 2016 election. Since Trump has been out of office, CNN has seen its ratings drop to all-time lows, consistently lagging behind Fox News and MSNBC.
With the ouster of personalities such as Brian Stelter and moving others from their time slots, like Don Lemon, many in the industry said it signaled that unhinged political takes were on the out.
"One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bullsh*t," Licht said. "You have to be compelling. You have to have edge. In many cases you take a side. Sometimes you just point out uncomfortable questions."
Even still, Lictht insisted that "either way you don’t see it through a lens of left or right."
Lictht's remarks are telling with the problem he has in order to have the channel be successful. CNN alienated almost half the country by being so biased while trying to claim they were really impartial. But by shaking things up to reduce the visibility of its bias, it is starting to lose its hardcore liberal viewing base. It is not unusual to see progressive and Democrat personalities on Twitter decrying CNN for not having hyperventilating reporting about conservatives like they used to.
Activists within the gun control crowd, namely Shannon Watts, had a meltdown when CNN announced they hired Stephen Gutowski as an on-air contributor for topics relating to firearms. Gutowski, a very good friend of Townhall, is an extremely trustworthy source when it comes to guns and laws relating to guns. Because he is of the opinion that many of the laws gun grabbers propose are not going to work, there were calls to have Gutowski be fired or continue a boycott of CNN.
Gutowski is a conservative but because he is not one of those "conservatives" who bash Republicans 24/7, he was no good to many in CNN's dwindling liberal audience. That is just one example of the huge problem Licht has. The anti-Trump shtick only works when Trump is president and without him, CNN has been reduced to the T.V. equivalent of living in a van down by the river.