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Tipsheet

New CNN Chief Explains How the Network Will Approach Trump Going Forward

AP Photo/Ron Harris

CNN chief Chris Licht said the network will take a different approach to covering Donald Trump than it did under former boss Jeff Zucker’s leadership, toning down the amount of airtime it gives to the former president.

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“We have fact checkers ready to go. We will put things in perspective. We will not let everything he does consume the news cycle, right?” Licht said during a podcast interview with Kara Swisher. “There are other things that are important.”

Previously, Licht said the network and other news outlets “let every little thing that he did consume everything, and so you ended up talking about him for eight hours a day.”

“We are not going to be a 24/7 Trump news network," Licht continued. “We’re going to be very clear and take everything on a case-by-case basis about what level of coverage it should be.”

Licht confirmed they’d continue to take that position even if Trump increased ratings.

The comments come as Trump formally announced his candidacy for president during an event Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago. 

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CNN covered the first 20 minutes of the speech live before breaking away to analysis and fact checking.

Since taking the helm, Licht has fired some of its highly partisan figures at the network, such as Brian Stelter, while moving others like Don Lemon out of their primetime slots. During a town hall meeting with staffers this week, Licht said more layoffs can be expected next month.

If CNN is to become a trusted name in news again, Licht explained in May the network would need to focus on "fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning 'group-think,' and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary, while always being respectful of differing viewpoints."


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