Stars Told CNN’s President Not To Take The Job For One Big Reason

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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At least two major stars in the entertainment industry warned CNN President Chris Licht against taking the job due to the growing polarization of the network, according to a profile published on June 2.

Host of “The Late Show” Stephen Colbert and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough both warned Licht not to take the job as CNN’s President, according to a detailed profile published by The Atlantic in early June. Licht assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2022 following Jeff Zucker’s departure. At the time, CNN’s ratings were already tanking, and the network was in the midst of a series of scandals related to Zucker and former hosts.

Both Colbert and Scarborough had worked with Licht during the earlier stages of his career The profile suggests the men developed close professional and personal friendships. Despite Licht claiming he knew “immediately” that he should accept the position of CNN President, his friends felt otherwise.

“Both Colbert and Scarborough warned him not to take the job, and Licht understood their reservations. He had watched, over the previous five years, as the network became more polarizing,” the outlet wrote of the situation. (RELATED: Only One Man Can Save CNN)

Prior to accepting the position, Licht felt that he struggled to discern between real newsworthy stories around coverage of former President Donald Trump and times when the former president was playing the audience. Although he didn’t say it about CNN explicitly, he had concerns about real, important stories being missed in favor of “outrage porn.” But none of the above stopped him from accepting the position from Discovery CEO David Zaslav.