CNN’s Chris Licht says left-leaning network not interested in ‘partisan hackery’

CNN boss Chris Licht said his third-place cable news network will no longer be home to “partisan hackery” or “ideological talking points” as the lineup continues to improve.

Licht vowed that the changes he hopes to implement at CNN are aimed at “restoring trust” in the tarnished brand — which once billed itself as “the most trusted in news.” was billed as “Name”. Interview with the Los Angeles Times.

One of Licht’s biggest tasks includes replacing CNN’s coveted 9 o’clock slot, which was held by Chris Cuomo before he was fired in late 2021.

The exec addressed reports that they are looking for a comedian to fill the slot to juice up the ratings, but did not say who the network is interviewing. Names like Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart and Arsenio Hall have been shut down in recent weeks.

“We’re interacting with culturally relevant individuals from the worlds of entertainment, sports and comedy who can bring fresh and unique perspectives to the news,” Licht said.

CNN’s Licht said the network is looking to GOP voices in its programming.
Getty Images for CNN

When pressed about how CNN could remain neutral with an opinionated comedian as a host, Licht added: “There’s nothing wrong with an opinion or a point of view, especially in prime time. , but it should be authentic. We’re not entirely interested in partisan hackery and ideological talking points.

On Monday, CNN announced that Maher will appear on the network on Fridays at 11:30 p.m. as it leverages its partnership with sister channel HBO to air “Overtime,” “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “‘s post-show segment. Both channels are owned by parent company Warner Bros. Owned by Discovery.

In his interview with the LA Times, Licht also discussed his trip to Washington to meet with Republican lawmakers to convince them he would do a fair interview on CNN, which Licht’s predecessor Jeff Zucker did. was accused of left-leaning bias under

“It was a very simple message. If you’re looking for a softball interview, it’s not us,” Licht said. “However, we also want to be a place where we can have an open exchange of ideas, no matter where you’re coming from, and that you’re treated with respect. We want you to score points.” Will not invite.”

When asked if CNN agreed not to discuss specific topics to get Republicans, noting that during a recent appearance with Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) on the ethics investigation, Not asked about, Licht answered confused.

“There are absolutely no deals like that,” he explained. ‘But wait a second, you had to retire,’ or ‘You had to resign because of X, Y. and Z.’

CNN Headquarters
Changing CNN’s ratings will take time to produce meaningful results, Licht said.
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He continued: “But if he’s coming to talk about a narrow focus, like he did about what was happening on the floor of the House, that’s not the appropriate forum. If we’re a If you’re doing an extensive interview, you’ll definitely ask these questions.

Licht also talked about the sharpest ratings for “CNN This Morning,” hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Caitlan Collins.

“Early days. It’s just finding its footing,” he said before turning to the network’s overall poor ratings.

“What we’re doing is basically reformatting the network,” he said. “And it’s going to take some time to get into a rhythm, and then it’s going to take time to market it. And so it’s going to take some time to grow again. I’ve obviously been given that time.”

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