CNN, in an apparent bid to return to its unbiased news reporting of the 1990s and early 2000s, may be preparing for major talent shake-ups, according to a report on Tuesday.
According to a report from Axios, new CNN chief Chris Licht is “evaluating” the network’s current stable of on-air talent, likely to determine who will fit with programming tailored to be less partisan.
“CNN’s new boss, Chris Licht, is evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan,” Axios reported, adding that sources indicated jobs could be on the chopping block in the wake of those evaluations.
“If talent cannot adjust to a less partisan tone and strategy, they could be ousted,” the outlet continued.
The Daily Wire noted:
Axios also noted that Licht appears ready to give current employees and on-air talent some room to prove that they can adapt to a less combative presentation, encouraging them to engage in thoughtful interviews with people on both sides of the aisle — something that got progressively rarer leading up to and during former President Donald Trump’s time in office.
And while former CNN head Jeff Zucker — who resigned after admitting to an undisclosed relationship — appeared to encourage a more partisan presentation, Licht has made it clear that he sees the network going in a completely different direction.
In that vein, The New York Times reported on Sunday, the network also plans to eliminate its snarky, partisan chyrons — and a much lighter touch on the “Breaking News” banner.
“CNN’s ubiquitous ‘Breaking News’ banner is gone, now reserved for instances of truly urgent events,” the NYT reported.
“Snarky onscreen captions … are discouraged. Political shows are trying to book more conservative voices, and producers have been urged to ignore Twitter backlash from the far right and the far left,” the report added.
Besides weathering several recent scandals involving Zucker and former prime-time host Chris Cuomo, the network’s launch of a subscription streaming service, CNN+, was a dismal failure, shuttering less than a month after it debuted.