CNN’s reputation is in tatters and the network’s ratings are in the toilet.
But there are big changes coming down the pike.
And two top CNN stars are about to get fired for one shocking reason.
When Discovery merged with CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, it meant the clock was ticking on the Jeff Zucker version of CNN.
Under Jeff Zucker CNN turned into a stridently liberal cable channel whose goals were to smear Donald Trump and boost the Democrat Party.
But Discovery CEO David Zaslav has a different vision for CNN.
Zaslav shares the view of his mentor and largest Discovery shareholder John Malone that CNN should be a neutral news network that pulls back on liberal partisanship.
“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” Malone said in an interview last year.
When Zaslav hired Chris Licht to replace Zucker – who was fired under the cloud of not reporting a sexual relationship with a subordinate – the idea was to impose new editorial standards on CNN and make the network a place where journalism – and not left-wing opining and performance art – comes first.
Now Licht is reportedly moving into the next phase of attempting to restore CNN’s battered reputation by monitoring the programming of the network’s most opinionated liberals to see if they can stick to the facts and objective journalism.
If they cannot, Licht will fire them.
CNN’s new boss Chris Licht is evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan.
Why it matters: If talent cannot adjust to a less partisan tone and strategy, they could be ousted, three sources familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Details: Licht wants to give personalities that may appear polarizing a chance to prove they’re willing to uphold the network’s values so that they don’t tarnish CNN’s journalism brand.
Axios also reported that the names under the most intense scrutiny would be Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter.
“Some on-air personalities, like Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, have become the face of the network’s liberal shift to conservative critics,” Axios exclusively reported.
Acosta served as the tip of the spear for the #resistance brand of opposition journalism that flourished during the Trump years.
Stelter is a deranged conspiracy theorist whose main goal is to cancel Tucker Carlson and censor conservative speech on social media.
But the free rein Zucker handed leftists like Stelter and Acosta is at an end.
And if the liberals at CNN do not conform to the new editorial standards they could be out of a job.
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