Just two days after new CNN president Chris Licht announced the embattled news network will be moving away from cable news “extremism” and seek “a different way,” longtime Senior Vice President and editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Worldwide Meredith Artley has announced she is leaving after 12 years.
Artley, who worked as a top executive under former CNN President Jeff Zucker, said she was frustrated by the corporate shakeups that have come in the wake of a mega-merger between Discovery and CNN’s parent company, Warner Media, sources told Axios.
Her exit follows that of CNN digital lead Andrew Morse, who left last month after CNN+, for which Morse led the charge, crumbled just weeks after it launched.
It’s the latest in a string of scandals and changes that led to Licht stepping in as head of the network in May.
Speaking at the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront presentation on Wednesday, Licht described the merger as an opportunity to chart a new course in cable news, American Wire News reported.
New CNN president announces different direction for network, vows to be a ‘beacon’ for journalism https://t.co/78nbufQE51
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 19, 2022
“The next chapter in CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said. “At a time where extremes are dominating cable news, we will seek to go a different way reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world views this medium.”
It’s a change that seems to be sweeping all of Warner Bros. Discovery.
The media giant’s CEO, David Zaslav, reportedly has plans to have a heart-to-heart with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, a move that just may lead to the controversial writer getting herself uncancelled, BPR reports.
The woke mob came for Rowling over her alleged transphobia after she spoke out against transgender women being allowed in certain women-only spaces and suggested more evidence may be needed before determining that a child should transition to another gender.
New Warner Bros Discovery CEO who axed CNN+ reportedly planning to un-cancel JK Rowling https://t.co/nG9gklNhya
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 20, 2022
HBO Max, also under Zaslav’s helm, snubbed the author from a New Year’s Day Harry Potter reunion special and it was Warner Bros. Pictures that produced all eight of the Harry Potter movies.
Though no deal has been struck, the Daily Mail stated that Zaslav “seems unlikely to bow to woke pressure.”
Whether it’s Zaslav’s olive branch to Rowling or Licht’s commitment to move away from radical reporting, it all, perhaps, proved too much for Artley.
In a note to her staff on Friday, she broke the news of her departure, Mediaite reports.
“Today is the day I have my own breaking news to share,” Artley wrote. “I’m leaving CNN after more than a dozen years. I’m so honored to have had this time here, and to have worked across the entire organization to build the #1 brand for news on the internet.”
“I’m so proud to have played a role in guiding, growing and championing CNN’s journalism across our digital platforms for all these years,” she continued. “We’ve grown the team of dedicated digital journalists more than threefold. We’ve also grown the number of CNNers who do digital journalism regardless of where they sit on an org chart. We’ve doubled-down on breaking news and distinctive storytelling in many forms and on many platforms. We invested in new beats and approaches to engage audiences.”
“Those audiences have grown massively, as has our lead over worthy competitors,” Artley said. “And the business of digital keeps going up, with more upside to come.”
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