CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a Monday interview with the Los Angeles Times that the network needed to restore trust back to its programming.
The Los Angeles Times’ Stephen Battaglio asked Licht “what is it about CNN’s reputation that has to be restored?”
“I think we have to restore trust,” Licht said. “It’s that simple. You can talk to a lot of different people as to why that has eroded, but as opposed to looking back I will say one of our missions is to restore our reputation as the most trusted name in news. We certainly have research that shows that [trust] has eroded.”
Licht also said the network wants to be less partisan. (RELATED: ‘I Would Not Be So Foolish’: Chris Licht Throws Cold Water On Huge CNN Speculation)
“We are completely uninterested in partisan hackery and ideological talking points,” Licht said, adding the network is trying to book more Republican lawmakers on the networks. “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 would be treated with respect. We won’t invite you on to score points on you.”
Licht said prior to his takeover, there was a “general sense” from Republican lawmakers “that you would not get a fair shake and you wouldn’t be allowed to make your point.”
“I don’t want CNN to be a place where you’re going to have such a combative experience that you go fundraise off of it. It is best for our audience to understand where everybody is coming from.”
This isn’t the first time Licht has said the network needed to regain the trust of its viewers.
Licht told employees in a May memo that the outlet needs to focus on the truth as “too many people have lost trust in the news media.”
“We should, and we will be advocates for the truth,” Licht wrote in the memo.
Licht also told The New York Times in December the reason that he wants to branch out and have more Republican lawmakers on is because the news is full of “half-truths.”
“The uninformed vitriol, especially from the left, has been stunning,” Licht said. “So much of what passes for news is name-calling, half-truths and desperation.