CNN’s Licht calling anchors ‘he’s never spoken to before’ as he grapples to save job – report

Embattled CNN boss Chris Licht has gone to the phones to lobby anchors who “he’s never spoken to before” as he frantically grapples to save his job in the aftermath of a magazine profile that poured gasoline on the fire already stoked by critics and mutinous network staffers who want him gone.

To say that Licht’s tenure at the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” has been a dumpster fire would be a huge understatement as his intention to restore credibility to the once widely respected cable news brand has been met with internal resistance and his moves have done little to rescue CNN’s dismal ratings.

According to the New York Post, multiple sources say that Licht has been “engaged in major damage control that includes calling the ratings-challenged network’s top talent.”

“He has been calling anchors who have never spoken to him before,” one source told the outlet. “He needs to win the room but the [Atlantic] piece shortened his window of time to do that.”

(Image: Screengrab)

In another indication that CNN brass is about to pull the plug on Licht, whose background as a television producer seemed a curious fit for the massive global news operation, rumors are flying that he will be out within weeks.

Jon Nicosia, former Mediaite managing editor and president of News Cycle Media, a man who ostensibly has his finger on the pulse of media gossip, tweeted that it’s practically a done deal already.

“We are not to far from ‘Chris Licht Out at CNN’ headlines,” he tweeted on Tuesday night, citing info from an unnamed source. “At this point mgmt. is giving Chris an opportunity to leave on his own before the inevitable happens.”

“Inside CNN, there’s a countdown for when David Zaslav, the CEO of the network’s parent Warner Bros Discovery, will pull the trigger on firing his appointed puppet after installing lieutenant David Leavy as CNN chief operating officer last week, sources said,” according to the New York Post.

“Some are speculating that the hammer will drop around the Fourth of July — in a bid to bury the news during the holiday weekend — while others think Licht has a few months to turn things around,” the outlet reported.

The news of Licht’s frantic efforts to save his job comes after a report that the network’s top talent has already “lost confidence” in him and he is a “dead man talking” who is a goner with the names of those who have soured on him including anchors Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett.

“It’s a coin toss,” a source told the New York Post, noting that only Zaslav really knows Licht’s fate. “But one thing is for sure, CNN needs to start planning its presidential election coverage.”

Licht’s stormy tenure has been marked by the network’s cutting ties with some of its most recognizable hosts including Brian Stelter and Don Lemon. But the fire under his seat was dialed up to high after the decision to give a forum to former President Donald J. Trump at a nationally televised town hall, and the profile in The Atlantic was likely the final straw for a man who was already dancing on the edge of a cliff.

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