Mark Thompson actions in as next CNN chief

Mark Thompson steps in as next CNN chief

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Mark Thompson is actioning in as the next CEO and chairman of CNN.

Parent business WarnerBros Discovery stated Wednesday it designated Thompson as the next leader of the news network, a couple of brief months after the ouster of Chris Licht.

Thompson formerly functioned as president and CEO of The New York Times from 2012 to 2020, along with director-general of the BBC from 2004 to2012 Thompson’s very first day at the CNN workplace will beOct 9, he informed CNN staffers in a memo.

“I am confident he is exactly the leader we need to take the helm of CNN at this pivotal time,” WarnerBros Discovery CEO David Zaslav informed personnel in a noteWednesday “Big thanks to all of you for your patience, commitment, and hard work. Simply stated: the real strength of CNN is its people, and you continue to set the highest standard in all that you do.”

The consultation of Thompson, a 40- year news veteran who was just recently knighted for his services in media, happens simply as the governmental project cycle in the U.S. speeds up.

Thompson takes the reins of CNN as cable cutting has actually increase for the conventional television package and scores have actually dragged other cable television news rivals. Last week, WarnerBros Discovery revealed it would include CNN to its Max streaming service startSept 27. It will work as the network’s response to streaming as a 24/ 7 live news center.

“As everyone knows, TV journalism is approaching peak disruption. We face pressure from every direction – structural, political, cultural, you name it. Like many other media organizations, CNN has recently felt some of the uncertainty and heartache that comes with all of that,” Thompson composed to CNN personnel. “There’s no magic wand that I or anyone else can wield to make this disruption go away. But what I can say is that where others see threat, I see opportunity – especially given CNN’s great brand and the strength of its journalism.”

His hiring likewise follows what has actually been a troubled time for the cable television news network, particularly for its management.

In early 2022, long time leader Jeff Zucker resigned after stopping working to reveal a romantic relationship with a high-ranking associate– who likewise when functioned as interactions director to ex-New YorkGov AndrewCuomo Zucker’s resignation came as a shock to staffers. Shortly after, prime-time host Chris Cuomo was fired after CNN stated it got brand-new details about his questionable function in encouraging his sibling.

Soon after Zucker stepped down, CNN’s moms and dad business ownership altered hands with the merger of WarnerBros andDiscovery Before sealing the deal, Zaslav had actually designated Licht as CNN’s CEO, who was formerly the president behind the “CBS This Morning” news program and “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. At the time, Zaslav called Licht a “dynamic and creative producer, an engaging and thoughtful journalist, and a true news person.”

One of Licht’s very first relocations was the quick closure of CNN+, the cable television news network’s then-newly introduced streaming platform that was stopping working to amass viewership in its early days.

Licht’s time at CNN was brief, nevertheless. In June, Licht left CNN after leading the network for bit more than a year that consisted of a series of shows errors and rock-bottom scores. He had actually likewise drawn criticism in the weeks prior to his ouster after CNN hosted a city center with Donald Trump that was loaded with lots of fans who cheered on the previous president as he pressed election lies and insulted host Kaitlan Collins.

Shortly after, The Atlantic released an uncomplimentary 15,000- word profile of Licht entitled “Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” which most likely sealed his fate. Although Licht asked forgiveness to CNN staffers it wasn’t adequate and his departure was revealed in the taking place days.

While network executives Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling and David Leavy led CNN given that Licht left CNN, WarnerBros Discovery brass looked for a replacement for the management function.

Read Zaslav’s memo to personnel:


I wished to inform you initially that we will be inviting a brand-new leader for CNNWorldwide Shortly, we will reveal that extremely appreciated news executive Mark Thompson will be joining our management group as Chairman and CEO, efficient October 9, reporting straight to me. Mark has actually remained in the news organization for more than 4 years and, as a number of you understand, he has a remarkable track-record of development and quality. I am positive he is precisely the leader we require to take the helm of CNN at this essential time.

I’ll share more about Mark in a minute. But prior to I do, I wish to state that I acknowledge modification is challenging, and I understand you have actually been through a great deal of it. Big thanks to all of you for your perseverance, dedication, and effort. Simply mentioned: the genuine strength of CNN is its individuals, and you continue to set the greatest requirement in all that you do.

I wish to offer an unique thanks to Amy, David, Virginia and Eric for the remarkable task they have actually done leading CNN and moving business forward throughout this interim duration. They gathered as a group and actually provided, and I am personally grateful for their effort and sacrifices, as they included considerable duties on top of their significant practical functions. I understand they’ll be a big assistance to Mark when he comes on board.

Mark has actually led and changed 2 of the world’s most appreciated wire service. Most just recently, he functioned as president and CEO of The New York Times from 2012-2020, constructing the business into a digital-subscription powerhouse. In reality, under his management, the Times increased its paid digital memberships significantly and more than doubled its overall digital profits.

Before that, Mark functioned as director-general of the BBC from 2004-2012, where he commanded among the world’s most significant newsrooms along with ratings of nationwide and global television and radio services and substantial international digital news properties. He led the advancement of the BBC iPlayer, the world’s very first streaming service from a significant broadcaster, broadened web and smart device services from news to education to home entertainment, and manage protection of the most significant occasions of the time from the international monetary crisis of 2008-09 to the 2012 Olympic Games inLondon Before ending up being a senior executive, Mark was a working scientist, director, field manufacturer and acclaimed showrunner in the BBC’s news department.

I’ve long appreciated Mark’s transformative management and his capability to motivate companies to raise their own aspirations and sense of what’s possible … and accomplish it. I’ve invested a great deal of time talking with him over the last couple of weeks and could not be more thrilled for all that remains in shop.

Please join me in inviting Mark to the group!


Read Thompson’s note to CNN staffers:

Dear all,

No doubt you have actually heard the news and read David Zaslav’s message verifying that I’m to be CNN’s next Chairman and CEO. I simply wished to include a couple of words of my own.

I can’t inform you how happy and happy I am to be joining you after a lot of years of viewing– and coveting– your work from the exterior. Over the years, I’ve run into CNN groups on story after story from Washington, DC to TiananmenSquare Two months ago I invested a day viewing CNN’s spell-binding protection of the Wagner disobedience, and I saw and read our significant rivals too. That day verified an old reality to me: when it matters most, CNN is the very best location to discover what’s taking place. You constantly increase to the celebration.

As everybody understands, television journalism is approaching peak disturbance. We deal with pressure from every instructions– structural, political, cultural, you call it. Like numerous other media companies, CNN has just recently felt a few of the unpredictability and distress that includes all of that. There’s no magic wand that I or anybody else can wield to make this disturbance disappear. But what I can state is that where others see risk, I see chance– particularly offered CNN’s fantastic brand name and the strength of its journalism. I’ve invested the majority of the previous twenty years finding out with associates at a few of the world’s other fantastic news operations not simply how to make it through the transformation, however to flourish in it and acquire brand-new audiences and income streams. I intend to do the exact same at CNN. It will not be my strategy that wins the day however our strategy, the strategy we create and execute together. Which is why, especially in the early weeks, you’ll discover me doing a lot more listening and finding out than holding forth.

I wish to include my individual thanks to the interim management group. Amy, David, Virginia and Eric have actually done a great task guiding the ship over the previous number of months and I eagerly anticipate dealing with them.

My very first main day in the workplace is 9 October however I’m preparing to appear a couple of times prior to then. So if you see a high figure with an English accent and a loud laugh, you’ll understand who it is.

All the very best,