Chris Licht is out at CNN after serving at the network for a little more than a year. His resignation comes amid reports of various wrong programming decisions extremely low ratings, and staff revolt, all of which upset CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, including CEO David Zaslav.

Licht’s tenure went from bad to worse after he gave CNN the green light to host a town hall with former President Donald Trump – an unprecedented decision for the left-wing network. Licht was hit with massive criticism after CNN packed the town hall with scores of cheering fans of the 45th POTUS.

However, the final nail in his career at CNN came after The Atlantic published an unflattering profile about him, titled, “INSIDE THE MELTDOWN AT CNN” written by By Tim Alberta.

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The article started with an interview with Licht where he insisted that there was a very “simple” way to cover Trump as he believed that the media had “learned its lesson” the first time Trump ran as president in 2016. “I think they know that he’s playing them—at least, the people in my organization. We’ve had discussions about this. We know that we’re getting played, so we’re gonna resist it,” he said.

However, it was Trump who ended up having his way, yet again, with the media, when he overpowered CNN’s moderator, Kaitlan Collins, during the town hall and hurled an array of distortion of facts, hyperbole, and lies during the 70-minute event. The fact that entire crowd was packed with Republican voters did little to dim the spirits of Trump.

Sure enough, in the aftermath of the event, CNN was pelted with criticism, especially from liberals, which is their base audience. “Ready to call it: This was a terrible idea,” the conservative writer Ramesh Ponnuru tweeted, just nine minutes into the event. “CNN should be ashamed of themselves,” tweeted Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

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When he took the helm of CNN, in May 2022, Licht told his employees that the network had lost its way under his predecessor, Jeff Zucker, and the network’s hostile approach to Trump had alienated a broader viewership that craved sober, fact-driven coverage. 

However, a year into his contract, the ratings at CNN, as well as employees’ morales, were lower than ever before, reported The Atlantic.

“Licht’s theory of CNN—what had gone wrong, how to fix it, and why doing so could lift the entire industry—made a lot of sense. The execution of that theory? Another story. Every move he made, big programming decisions and small tactical maneuvers alike, seemed to backfire. By most metrics, the network under Licht’s leadership had reached its historic nadir,” the article said.