CNN’s new head told employees in a letter Monday he wants the outlet to focus on truth as “too many people have lost trust in the news media.”
Chris Licht sent the memo to employees on his first day at the job after replacing former president Jeff Zucker.
“My priority is to always be true to CNN’s longstanding mission: ‘to inform, engage and empower the world.’ I will look at all decisions through the lens of: Is this good for the CNN brand?” Licht wrote in a letter to employees, posted by Axios reporter Sara Fischer. “As a leader, I believe I best serve this mission by making sure the right people are in charge and by empowering them to do their jobs as effectively as possible. You can be assured that will be my focus.”
“I am here to set expectations, make the tough calls, fight for the resources you need, and remove any obstacles that keep you from doing your best work.”
NEW: Memo from incoming @CNN head @chrislicht to staff on his first day on the job.
“CNN must be a vital, relevant, and respected part of our culture. Sadly, too many people have lost trust in the news media.” pic.twitter.com/9WoNcbVhwO
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) May 2, 2022
“CNN must be a vital, relevant, and respected part of our culture. Sadly, too many people have lost trust in the news media. I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics of journalism: 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,” Licht continued.
“First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for the truth.” (RELATED: ‘Would You Be Okay If Donald Trump … Created This Disinformation Governance Board?’: CNN’s Dana Bash Grills Mayorkas)
Licht was chosen to replace Zucker by incoming Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who recently said he wants CNN to focus on the facts. Prior to Licht’s start date, CNN chose three members of the company’s leadership team — Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz — to take the helm as “interim co-heads.”
Zucker stepped down in February after failing to disclose a “consensual relationship with [his] closest colleague.”