CNN has found a replacement for the ousted Chris Licht for its most senior executive: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times.Thompson, who will be chairman/CEO of CNN Worldwide, will start October 9. He will be editor in chief, and “ultimately responsible for all CNN content,” according to the company.
Thompson will head up all CNN's strategy, operations and business units, as well as worldwide CNN-branded networks, channels and programming across broadcast, and streaming.Previously, Thompson was director-general -- CEO and editor-in-chief -- of the BBC from 2004 to 2012. One of Thompson's major efforts came with the development of the BBC iPlayer, the world's first streaming service from a major broadcaster.
Licht departed CNN in June after a short year-long stint due to major editorial and operational issues.
Before his hiring a year ago, Warner Bros Discovery dismantled its major streaming effort CNN+ in April 2022.
CNN+ was touted to be a major effort to improve the news operation in expanding into the next generation of streaming/connected TV platforms.
CNN, a long-established major news group, has seen lower viewership, with rising competition from Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
One of Licht's major goals was to expand CNN's appeal to a wider audience. Among other things, under his reign, CNN produced a live town hall event in May 2023 with former President Donald Trump, which drew widespread criticism.