CNN Names Former New York Times Chief Its New CEO As Cord Cutting Hits The Network Hard





CNN named Mark Thompson as its new CEO, according to the news network. Thompson, former chief executive of The New York Times, will take over Warner Bros. Discovery’s news outfit from Chris Licht. The appointment will be effective on October 9, WBD confirmed in a release.

Thompson is credited with righting The New York Times‘ ship during a challenging period, transforming the newspaper into a “digital powerhouse” when audiences abandoned print. The network is coping with a number of challenges and likely hopes Thompson’s experience can provide guidance.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the chance to join CNN after years of watching it and competing against it with a mixture of admiration and envy,” Thompson said in a statement. “The world needs accurate trustworthy news now more than ever and we’ve never had more ways of meeting that need at home and abroad. Where others see disruption, I see opportunity. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get down to work with my new colleagues to build a successful future for CNN.”

CNN’s report said the network’s business model and main revenue source hangs in the balance due to the contraction of traditional linear television. The network also continues to navigate a political minefield with the 2024 presidential election looming on the horizon, and with it a knot of mis- and disinformation to untangle. Thompson must also contend with the aftermath of mass layoffs, the ousting of his predecessors Jeff Zucker and Licht, the firing of anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon as well as a rollercoaster multiple programming shakeups.

“There isn’t a more experienced, respected or capable executive in the news business today than Mark, and we are thrilled to have him join our team and lead CNN Worldwide into the future,” WBD CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.

Thompson could also give CNN’s second attempt at streaming a better chance. After CNN+ abruptly shut down before launch, the network unveiled plans for CNN Max, round-the-clock live programming from CNN US, CNN International and original programming for Max. The addition will also include exclusive content for subscribers like CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker, and Fredricka Whitfield, and “CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto,” as well as featured content like “Amanpour” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

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