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Don't Criminalize Being Human

CNN's New President Has Been Named

AP Photo/Ron Harris

CNN has determined who will replace Jeff Zucker as network president following the longtime executive resigning earlier this month after an internal investigation found he violated company policies.


Veteran media executive Chris Licht, who currently works for CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and who previously worked for MSNBC's "Morning Joe," has been tapped as the next president of CNN, less than a month after Zucker's resignation.

The incoming president will take over once CNN's merger with Discovery is completed in the next few months. The timing coincidentally coincides with the expiration of his contract with CBS, which ends in April.

According to Puck, which first reported the hiring Saturday, the acquisition of Licht is likely to officially be announced at, or ahead of, a special Discovery shareholders meeting on March 11.

"Licht has more than two decades of television news experience," CNN media reporter Brian Stelter wrote of the news. "He has a reputation as a hands-on producer and talent manager with a keen interest in politics and news."

He will only oversee news once he officially begins his role as CNN president. Zucker oversaw news and sports during his time at CNN. It is unclear who will oversee the sports department.

Three veteran CNN executives have been running the network on an interim basis since Zucker's departure.

Zucker abruptly resigned as CNN president on Feb. 2, citing his failure to disclose a relationship with fellow executive Allison Gollust, who has since stepped down as well, during the investigation into former network anchor Chris Cuomo.

The former "Cuomo Primetime" anchor was fired in December after new revelations found he was more involved in aiding his brother, ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), against sexual harassment allegations than was previously known, and was similarly accused himself of sexual misconduct by a former colleague of his from his time at ABC News.


An internal investigation discovered that Zucker, Gollust and Chris Cuomo all violated company policies, according to a letter from Jason Kilar, CEO of CNN parent company Warner Media.

"Based on interviews of more than 40 individuals and a review of over 100,000 texts and emails, the investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN's News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo," Kilar wrote in the letter.

Discovery executives have called Zucker's departure a "fresh start" for the network.

Since Gollust's termination, the internal investigation has found she had communicated with Gov. Cuomo about subjects he wished to discuss during an upcoming CNN interview in March of 2020 and had aided Chris Cuomo in defending his brother against sexual harassment allegations. Gollust previously worked for Gov. Cuomo before she joined CNN.


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