CNN Names New CEO Ahead Of Discovery Merger

Discovery, Inc. today announced its plans to appoint Chris Licht as the new chairman and chief executive officer of CNN Global. The appointment will be effective following the completion of Discovery, Inc.’s acquisition of WarnerMedia, expected in early 2Q.

Licht has spent more than 20 years in broadcast news and currently serves as executive vice president of special programming at CBS. He has created, led and strengthened award-winning news and entertainment shows and programming, including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “CBS This Morning,” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

David Zaslav, incoming CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, commented:

“I have known and admired Chris for more than 15 years and strongly believe he is the best person to lead CNN Global as part of Warner Bros. Discovery. Chris is a dynamic and creative producer, an engaging and thoughtful journalist, and a true news person. He has more than two decades of broadcast experience across local, cable and national news. He has been in the field, in the control room and on the set. He is a highly principled individual who is trusted, hard-working and makes every organization stronger, more innovative, and more cohesive.”

Discovery expects that Licht will start at CNN in early May, after Discovery’s acquisition of CNN is complete. He will report directly to Zaslav.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity, especially at such an important time for our country and the world,” said Licht. “CNN has a rich and storied legacy and I both promise to uphold it and build upon it. I am eternally grateful to Stephen Colbert and the peerless Late Show team for an unforgettable run. I am looking forward to returning to my journalism roots.”

Licht has broad experience as a journalist and leader. He currently is executive vice president of special programming at CBS and executive producer and showrunner for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Prior to that, Licht was vice president of programming for CBS News and executive producer of the network’s morning news program, “CBS This Morning,” which he helped launch in 2012. Licht won accolades for elevating the quality of journalism at “CBS This Morning.” Prior to CBS, Licht was the co-creator and original executive producer of MSNBC’s popular morning news show, “Morning Joe.”