Last week, CNN finally pulled the plug on Brian Stelter and his show, “Reliable Sources.” The show was canceled and he was fired.
Stelter signed off in a final delusional rant in which he depicted himself as some kind of angel of democracy fighting the evil fascists. His last show was the perfect example of why he was properly canceled and booted from the network.
But while he started with Stelter, CNN president Chris Licht isn’t done yet. As we reported, Licht warned that there would be “more changes” coming and it has the CNN people all upset as to who may be about to get the ax next.
Now the word is in where the ax may fall next.
Licht is intent on “blowing up” the morning programming because of the poor ratings and he’s planning to take apart “New Day” in his next move.
Licht addressed his plans at an upfront presentation in May, stating the network wanted to “reimagine” the morning show but providing no further details. Currently, “New Day” is anchored by John Berman and Brianna Keilar.
Stelter, a frequent foe for conservatives, was forced out last week and his show “Reliable Sources” was canceled. As The Post reported, CNN nixed the program as it prepares to unveil a refreshed Sunday lineup that includes “Who’s Talking With Chris Wallace.”
Network insiders told the Daily Beast that CNN staffers “cannot shake the feeling” that John Malone, an influential shareholder and board member at WarnerBros. Discovery, played a role in Stelter’s exit. Last week, Malone admitted that he wanted CNN to be “more centrist,” even as he denied any involvement in Stelter’s demise.
But the outlet reported that “multiple current and former staffers” fear that Malone is “indirectly dictating an agenda” that is being carried out by Licht.
John Berman and Brianna Keilar were two of the people that we previously reported were on a list of people who might get the ax or at least not be in their same assignments anymore. Others on that list were Jake Tapper and Don Lemon.
On the downside, although Lemon was on the list of possible folks being considered, now the word is that Lemon and Jim Acosta may be safe for the time being, which is a disappointment. If they’re still there, it means Licht isn’t truly as committed to cleaning up the mess that CNN has been for the past several years. If the point is that you want to be more centrist and less Democratic operative, those two are high on the list of people who should be next.
Licht did do one good thing at the beginning of the month that flew under the radar: he reached out to Republicans and said the network wanted to win back their trust.
Licht’s message, according to one of the lawmakers who sat down with him as well as to several sources briefed on the exchanges: “We want to win back your trust.”
The CNN chief spent between 45 minutes and an hour cajoling GOP lawmakers who no longer appear on the network to come back on the air — and assuring them he’d praise producers for inviting them and communicate his displeasure if he doesn’t believe they are treated fairly
“I think he does genuinely want that to happen,” one Republican lawmaker told the Washington Free Beacon. “Put aside ideology, I think he thinks CNN sucks.”
Unfortunately, CNN dug a huge hole for themselves so he’s going to have to do a lot to prove they want to get back to objectivity and not many are going to believe it without real action. Meanwhile, the left is melting down that he even was so bold as to reach out to Republicans, to acknowledge the problem. Just saying he wants to be objective to the left is triggering.
Ultimately, it’s going to be actions that speak louder than reach-outs. Licht is going to have to answer up with results. It probably wouldn’t get most people back, but if he’s going to make any change at all, that’s where it has to start.