New CNN CEO Drops Hammer, Fires Trump Critic Chris Cillizza and Guts Network

CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht has reportedly fired a fierce critic of President Donald Trump while gutting the network of employees.

Chris Cillizza, CNN’s politics reporter and editor-at-large, has been given the chop by Licht, according to Variety.

He has worked at CNN since 2017.

Other CNN staffers getting the ax include Alison Kosik, Martin Savidge, Alex Field, and Mary Ann Fox.

Licht earlier terminated Trump critics Brian Stelter and White House Correspondent John Harwood.

According to Variety, Licht will gut HLN, the cable network once known as CNN Headline News:

CNN will no longer produce live programs for HLN, according to one of these people, and will simulcast “CNN This Morning” in place of “Morning Express,” the A.M. news program that takes up most of HLN’s daytime schedule.

HLN’s true-crime programming will be placed under the aegis of Warner Bros. Discovery executive Kathleen Finch, and made more a part of the operations of the company’s ID cable network.

Licht wrote a memo this week to CNN employees about the coming cuts and warned of a “difficult time” ahead.

The memo leaked before the ink was dry on it.

Licht wrote to all CNN employees:

“To my CNN colleagues, our people are the heart and soul of this organization.

“It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many.

“I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.

“Today we will notify a limited number of individuals, largely some of our paid contributors, as part of a recalibrated reporting strategy.

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“Tomorrow, we will notify impacted employees, and tomorrow afternoon I will follow up with more details on these changes.

“It will be a difficult time for everyone.

“If your job has been impacted, you will learn more through an in-person meeting or via Zoom, depending on your location.

“In those meetings, you will receive information specific to you about notice period or any severance that would apply, and your anticipated last day.

“I want to be clear that everyone who is bonus eligible will still receive their 2022 bonuses, which are determined by company performance.

“I know these changes affect both our departing colleagues and those who remain, and we have resources designed to support you.

“I will include a link to those resources in my follow-up email tomorrow,” he wrote.

“Let’s take care of each other this week.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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