On CNN, it started as usual. Many staffers watched the station’s editorial calls Thursday morning from New York, Los Angeles, London and far-flung capitals of the world.
But there was one difference. Chris Licht, who was dismissed as chairman of the network on Wednesday, was not on the conference call.
It was led by Virginia Moseley, one of the network’s three veterans to head the newsroom, according to several people familiar with her remarks. And it was clear she was about to turn the page. The calls focused on news coverage such as the wildfires in Canada and the war in Ukraine. Moseley made no mention of Licht’s expulsion.
In a memo to employees ahead of the meeting, CNN’s new leaders acknowledged the crisis caused by Licht’s last days on the network and expressed optimism about the future. This document is signed by the author’s first name in alphabetical order. Amy Entelis, Executive Vice President of People and Content Development. CNN Chief Operating Officer and veteran communications advisor David Levy. Eric Scharling, Vice President of U.S. Programming. Moseley is vice president of editorial.
“We understand how disorienting and unsettling it can be to be in the news. There is,” they said, adding, “Now let us, the leaders of CNN, seize the moment as you have so many times.”
CNN declined to comment.
Some CNN journalists in interviews expressed frustration with the network and Licht’s sweeping coverage and said they hoped it would end soon. (Network viewers devoured the article. The only mention of Licht in the morning’s editorial call was in relation to a CNN article about his ouster, according to three people familiar with the station. , the article was one of the most popular articles on the network’s digital platform Wednesday, according to readership.)
CNN’s new leaders will have to deal with many of the challenges Licht was trying to overcome. The company’s traditional business, which relies primarily on television advertising and cable tariffs, faces long-term decline. Its digital operations are in the midst of an overhaul. The company is preparing to cover his 2024 presidential election, a momentous event for the network and its business. And morning and primetime shows are still being fine-tuned, leaving a key slot in CNN’s lineup unfinished.
In these areas, CNN has made progress. According to two people familiar with the discussion, the network will join CNN veterans Poppy Harlow in the morning, including White House correspondent Phil Mattingly and correspondent Rahel Solomon. I am considering an anchor.
Asan Stephanopoulos, whom Licht hired last year as CNN’s chief digital officer, laid out plans to generate $1 billion over the next few years. The company is also hosting a series of town hall forums for presidential candidates, including next week’s forum with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN’s parent company, said Wednesday that it is looking to replace Licht permanently. Zaslav, who chose Licht without interviewing other candidates, said he would commit to the hiring process, even if it took months.
Zaslav last week named Levy, one of his longtime top advisers, as CNN’s chief operating officer. Hours after Mr. Licht was fired on Wednesday, Levy sought to take the next step, telling his executives at a conference that he had nothing but respect for Mr. Licht and his predecessor, Jeff Zucker. rice field.
“The Zucker war is over,” Levy said, according to two people familiar with his remarks.