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Mark Thompson, a former executive at the BBC and the New York Times, has been named CNN’s new president

By 08/30/2023 3:21 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


In an effort to turn around a news company that has gone through two heads in the past two years and lost viewers, CNN is bringing in a former chief executive of the BBC and The New York Times.

David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros., named Mark Thompson as chair and CEO. Wednesday saw the announcement from Discovery.

Chris Licht, who was let go in June, and a four-person team that had been in charge of CNN in the interim are both replaced by Thompson. After eight years as the Times’ president and CEO, Thompson stepped down in 2020.

He is credited with turning the publication into a digital-first business that is more reliant on paid subscribers than the dying ad market.

Zaslav referred to him as a “true innovator” who propelled two of the most prestigious news institutions in the world into the digital era. In this crucial moment, he is a “viable force for CNN and journalism” because of his “strategic vision, track record in transformational leadership, and sheer passion for news,” the speaker claimed.

The British government knighted Thompson, who said in a statement that “where others see disruption, I see opportunity.” After a turbulent 13 months in which CNN lost ground to Fox News and MSNBC in popularity and opinionated news gained more traction with viewers during a divisive period,

Licht was fired. He had pushed CNN to strike a balance and exercise its newsgathering prowess.

A stinging Atlantic magazine piece that revealed his failure to connect with many employees—many of whom were loyal to his predecessor, Jeff Zucker—led to his downfall in the end.

After neglecting to tell his superiors about his personal relationship with a fellow network executive, Zucker was fired in February 2022. In addition to ratings, CNN’s finances have taken a hit.

Compared to $1.08 billion in 2020, the network made $892 in profit in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

A well-publicized streaming service was discontinued by CNN’s new corporate overlords only a few weeks after Licht was appointed to his new position.

Announcing CNN News would be a part of its Max streaming service only this month.

Over the previous two years, CNN also let go of two well-liked prime-time hosts, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, the latter following a disastrous shift to a new morning show. During his tenure, Licht never decided on a new prime-time lineup. Kaitlan Collins, Abby Phillip, and Laura Coates have been added to the nightly lineup by the four-person interim leadership team of Amy Entelis, David Leavy, Virginia Moseley, and Eric Sherling.

Veterans Christiane Amanpour and Chris Wallace have been given new weekend responsibilities. On Tuesday night,

Puck was the first to report on Thompson’s choice.


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