A Timeline of 18 Tumultuous Months at CNN That Led to Licht’s Firing

CNN has endured nearly two years of turmoil as the cable news network has struggled to overcome national scandals, abrupt departures, plummeting ratings and declining profits.

The tumult culminated this week with the sudden exit of CNN’s top boss, Chris Licht, whose rocky 13-month run as the leader of CNN came to an end after a string of controversies. He was appointed chief executive and chairman of CNN in February 2022, succeeding Jeff Zucker, who had resigned weeks earlier.

Mr. Licht assumed the top job at a pivotal moment for the network: Ratings had fallen in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, and WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, was preparing to merge with Discovery, creating a media behemoth. Amid the turbulence, Mr. Licht was never able to find his footing at the network.

Here’s a timeline of 18 months of turmoil at CNN that led up to his ouster.

December 2021

CNN fired Chris Cuomo, a star anchor, on Dec. 4, 2021, over his involvement in the political affairs of his brother, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. The ouster was a stunning downfall for the network’s top-rated host, who was at the peak of a broadcast journalism career that he had forged outside of his famed political family.

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