New CNN boss Chris Licht has issued warnings to key figures at the network, including agents of the stars and reporters, according to multiple media reports.
Licht has reportedly told top CNN hosts, including Don Lemon and Jim Acosta, that they must “tone down” their “opinionated reporting.”
Sources tell The Daily Beast that Licht, who officially takes over in May, is also calling for a truce with Fox News.
Such a truce has already been evidenced by Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources and one whose job is rumored to be on the chopping block, who has mentioned Fox News once last Sunday.
The sudden silence is remarkable for Jeff Zucker’s pit bull who literally wrote a book bashing Fox News.
According to The Daily Beast, Licht will also move CNN away “from a Trump-era resistance tone and back to a style often described as hard news.”
And in bad news for Acosta and Lemon, Licht will also “work to tone down the often opinionated and emotional reporting from stars like Jim Acosta, Brianna Keilar, and especially Don Lemon, who currently hosts the network’s ratings-deficient 10 p.m. to midnight programming.”
But it gets worse for the two network stars.
The biggest shareholder of CNN’s new owner, John Malone, is a billionaire Trump donor who hates the far-left direction CNN has headed in.
Malone says he wants to “dismantle” CNN and try to turn it into a legitimate news outlet.
Jon Nicosia, President of News Cycle Media, said recently: “Source: John Malone, Discovery’s board member will ‘play a huge role in the new organization’s plans to return CNN to its news channel roots and dismantle the partisan organization Zucker shifted it into.’ They continue: ‘This will mean a large realignment of staff'”
Malone is a media legend and the majority owner of Discovery, the company that will soon run CNN.
Malone donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
Malone said recently: “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.
“I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent.”
Deadline reported, “Discovery’s largest shareholder, John Malone, a critic of CNN, made it known that corporate procedures had to be followed to the letter in regards to Zucker, we hear.
“Being that WarnerMedia’s standards of business conduct require disclosure of relationships that develop with a boss and subordinate, Zucker’s goose was officially cooked.”
Even the Democrats are panicking over what Malone will do.
From Vanity Fair:
Toward the end of the meeting, in which prominent CNN journalists went hard at Kilar over Zucker’s resignation, special correspondent Jamie Gangel spoke up. “
The first calls I got this morning were from four members of the January 6 committee, who felt devastated for our democracy, because Jeff was not going to be around to make sure that CNN is able to do its job,” she said (later clarifying to colleagues that she meant to say four congresspeople, including one member of the committee).
John Malone one of Discovery Channel’s major share holders purchasing CNN admitting CNN does not have real news or real journalists! pic.twitter.com/pNye4zZvLl
— Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) December 7, 2021
This merger is why Lemon and Acosta are in trouble.
Under the agreement, AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of TimeWarner, which closed just about three years ago and form a new and separate media company with Discovery.
It will bring together AT&T-owned CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio and Discovery’s channels, including Animal Planet, TLC and its namesake Discovery Channel.