Licht took to Twitter on April 18 to announce that he will be ditching the social media platform as of May 2, the same day that he starts his new position at the cable news network.
“May 2 will be my first official day in the office at CNN & my last day on Twitter,” Licht said. “Twitter can be a great journalistic tool, but it can also skew what’s really important in the world. I’m logging off & looking forward to working with the incredible team at CNN.”
Licht, a former showrunner of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” is stepping into the shoes of former CNN President Jeff Zucker, who led the network in its coverage of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Zucker abruptly resigned in February 2022 amid fallout from an investigation into former anchor Chris Cuomo’s alleged protection of his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was facing sexual harassment allegations. The investigation revealed that had Zucker failed to disclose a consensual romantic relationship with a colleague.
According to Axios, Licht believes that CNN was chasing “prime-time ratings at the expense of the brand” and that the news outlet is likely to shift its emphasis back to hard news and away from “red-hot liberal opening” under Licht’s guidance.
In a letter to CNN staffers in February, which was obtained by Mediaite, Licht said he plans to “double-down on what’s working well and quickly eliminate what’s not.”
“Our viewers demand the truth from us, and I want to learn the truth from you,” he wrote.
“I know you have a lot of questions. Perhaps the biggest one is how will CNN change? The honest answer is that I don’t know yet. David Zaslav has given me one simple directive: To ensure that CNN remains the global leader in NEWS as part of Warner Bros. Discovery.”
Licht signed off his letter to staff noting that CNN is “uniquely positioned to be a beacon of meaningful, impactful journalism for the world,” and pledging his commitment to build on the news outlet’s “legacy.”
A few hours after Licht’s announcement, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey accused CNN of promoting false news and creating conflict to film during the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Dorsey was responding to a Twitter post by CNN chief media correspondent and Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter about Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Stelter shared a Washington Post story accusing Carlson of “selling doubt” to his audience.
Twitter user Sarah Idan, a former Miss Iraq contestant, replied and said she saw CNN broadcast false news stories during the Iraq war, and Dorsey replied to Idan in agreement.
“I know this from being on the streets of Ferguson during the protests and watching them try to create conflict and film it causing the protestors to chant ‘[expletive] CNN,’” Dorsey wrote.
The Epoch Times has contacted CNN for comment.