Licht Vows New Direction For CNN, Reveals Plan For Chris Wallace

Under its new owner, CNN will "challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news" -- meaning avoiding the partisan "extremes" that have come to dominate cable news -- Chris Licht, CNN Worldwide's new chairman and CEO, said during the Warner Bros Discovery upfront presentation on Wednesday.

”The next chapter in CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said. “At a time where extremes are dominating cable news, we will seek to go a different way reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world views this medium.”

Licht also promised to "reimagine" CNN's morning show in a way that will make it a "disruptor" in that space.

In addition, he announced that Chris Wallace's talk show "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace," originally created for the short-lived CNN+, will instead be refashioned to air on the CNN network on Sunday nights and stream on HBO Max.

Wallace's show will be part of a new block of Sunday night programming that will also include a new show featuring "investigations or far-flung human dramas" offered by CNN correspondents.

Wallace will also continue to serve as an anchor for CNN, which he joined in January 2022 after anchoring Fox News Sunday for nearly 20 years.

2 comments about "Licht Vows New Direction For CNN, Reveals Plan For Chris Wallace".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 19, 2022 at 1:29 p.m.

    While some on the right ---perhaps many---will  argue that CNN has been heavily oriented in its coverage towards the left, this, while true ---directionally---has been much less so than its rivals Fox and MSNBC---which are very clearly in the right and left camps, respectively. Which is why CNN is the first place for many to go for a quick fix on the headlines---or a longer fix when there is a major crises or event of interest---but otherwise few CNN viewers stick around for extended periods---unlike Fox's audience in particular. This, in turn, is why CNN lags so far behind in the average minute ratings---most of its viewers are simply not sticking around enough--and that's what the avarage minute ratings reflect---a lack of frequency.

    Yet, the new plan for CNN, per this article, seems to be more of the same. Somehow that doesn't strike me as the path to higher ratings---assuming that that's the ultimate goal---or is it?As for how to best utilize Chris Wallace, a weekend interview/commentary session is what one might expect---but can't CNN figure out a way to showcase Wallace's persona and talent more often---like in prime time----but not necassarily just doing interviews? He may not be willing---perhaps the grind will be too much---but if he is willing why not use this guy who has star power---in my opinion---more aggressively?

  2. John Luma from iLumaNation, May 19, 2022 at 7:21 p.m.

    Agree with you Ed. The only way I could see Chris Wallace boosting CNN's ratings is to somehow create a bold new format and put him on 5 days a week. Hard to build ratings off a single weekly hour. And his reason-based personality is not about painting a story in loud primary colors. If it were up to me, I'd put him in charge of a new round-table probe of the top-of-mind views from 6 or 7 average folks. Each hour, new, different people, all incomes, all races, educational levels, etc get into all the sensitive subjects that drive our personal, social and political lives. Sorry -- if Wallace has done this already, I didn't catch it!

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