Chris Licht, the chairman and CEO of CNN, is leaving after a short and turbulent tenure.

CNN New York — Chris Licht, the troubled CNN chairman and CEO whose tumultuous one-year stint at the network was marred by a slew of serious errors, left the organization on Wednesday.

At the beginning of the network’s daily editorial meeting, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav informed the staff of CNN, “I visited with Chris and he will be leaving CNN.

The dismissal of two anchors, layoffs, declining earnings, historically low ratings, and low staff morale all came to an end with Licht’s resignation from CNN. The organization suffered numerous more body blows before the instability of the previous year, including the dismissal of Jeff Zucker as CEO and the closure of CNN+, a fledgling streaming service.

“This was an exciting but incredibly challenging assignment, and I learned a lot over the past 13 months,” Licht said in a statement. “I’ve had the good fortune to have a successful, fulfilling career, and I’m looking forward to my next chapter,” the speaker said. I always hope for the best for the CNN staff.

After most recently guiding “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to great success, Licht became network chief in May. However, during his time, he was subject to harsh criticism in the media, frequently as a result of leaks from staffers who never fully trusted his leadership abilities or editorial vision.

A heartbreaking 15,000-word feature in The Atlantic that was published on Friday served as the ultimate death knell. The critical article, written by Tim Alberta and delivered to more than 100 CNN staff members, seriously questioned Licht’s capacity to steer the company into the future.

Licht made an effort to regain his balance after reading the essay in The Atlantic. He expressed regret to the personnel and vowed to “fight like hell” to regain their trust.

However, it became more and more obvious that Licht’s time as the company’s CEO was soon running out. Along with the rank-and-file crew, prominent anchors and correspondents had grown frustrated with Licht. In essence, the CNN president had lost the space.

Zaslav, who last week appointed David Leavy as CNN’s chief operational officer, saw the situation clearly very fast. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Warner Bros. Discovery president began seriously considering terminating Licht’s employment over the weekend after an article in The Atlantic crystallized worries Zaslav had had about his leadership over the previous few months. It had become clear that Licht, who had sustained a number of self-inflicted wounds, was unable to manage the business. Zaslav ultimately decided to fire Licht earlier this week, according to the source.

According to a person acquainted with the situation, Licht was told of his termination of employment on Wednesday morning. Along with Licht’s chief of staff, Devan Cayea, the top two administrators of CNN’s communications division, Kris Coratti Kelly and Matt Dornic, will also leave the organization, the source claimed.

At the Wednesday meeting where Zaslav announced his leaving, Licht was conspicuously absent. Licht’s statement was absent from the Warner Bros. Discovery press release on his departure.

Licht’s position is “never going to be easy,” according to Zaslav, who admitted blame for the instability that has recently engulfed CNN. Zaslav also commended Licht’s “amazing career” and wished him well in his future undertakings.

“It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out for a variety of reasons,” Zaslav added. “It’s extremely regrettable. That’s ultimately my fault. I fully accept responsibility for that.

Zaslav informed CNN staff that the business is “in the process of conducting a wide search,” both internally and externally, for a new network leader, but he issued a warning that the search would “take a while.”

In the meanwhile, according to Zaslav, the leadership team will be made up of three seasoned network executives: Eric Sherling, executive vice president of U.S. programming, Virginia Moseley, executive vice president of editorial, and Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development. Leavy will keep managing the business operations of the organization.

“We have great confidence in this group and will fully support them until a new CEO is named,” Zaslav wrote in an email to CNN personnel. “We are in good hands, allowing us to take the time we need to run a thoughtful and thorough search for a new leader.”

A turbulent term

Licht enjoyed great success in morning news, producing MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” before he redesigned “CBS Sunday Morning.” This success led to a short-lived and tumultuous time as the network’s president.

Before joining CNN, Licht most recently oversaw Colbert’s show as it rose to the top of television’s late-night programming.

At CNN, Licht was never able to recapture that spark, struggling from day one and drawing harsh criticism.

CNN+, which had been lauded by CNN’s prior leadership as the network’s streaming future, was demolished as Licht’s first duty. The closure of the highly anticipated service delivered Licht a challenging starting hand, even though staff members were aware that the decision to fire the streamer was not Licht’s own.

However, workers maintained an open mind. Given that Licht had success as a producer at other networks and experience, many people welcomed his appointment.

However, Licht rapidly wasted a lot of that goodwill by making a number of mistakes, many of which were his own fault. Unlike Zucker, who had an office on the newsroom floor of CNN’s New York office in Hudson Yards, Licht had his own office, which put him apart from the network’s reporters and cut off communication with his team.

Brian Stelter, the esteemed chief media correspondent and host of “Reliable Sources,” was subsequently fired by Licht. He also fired other important CNN journalists, which caused workers to wonder.

However, Licht saw his status inside the company further deteriorate when, despite telling colleagues that layoffs weren’t imminent, he declared that there would be large ones last year. In late November and early December, hundreds of CNN staff members were let go.

The modifications Licht made to the programming raised more issues. The network’s morning show was redesigned as his first significant action. “CNN This Morning,” hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins, was introduced by Licht. The program lost viewers from its predecessor and got mired in tabloid turmoil. Lemon, who later resigned from the network after making sexist remarks during an episode, issued an apology.

However, Licht received the heaviest programming criticism for the way he conducted a town hall with former President Donald Trump. The event last month, which occasionally descended into mayhem, was widely criticized as a mistake.

Not just the participants in the event but also CNN employees criticized it. Christiane Amanpour, a renowned news anchor, garnered attention when she disagreed with Licht during a Columbia Journalism School commencement lecture.

The tumultuous incident, which resulted in a barrage of unfavorable press coverage for Licht and CNN, prepared the ground for The Atlantic’s devastating story. For over a year, Alberta, the article’s author, was given unrestricted access to Licht and painted the CNN president as being unqualified for the position. Licht didn’t help matters either; he said several things to Alberta that the CNN personnel found offensive, including comments about the network’s journalism before he was hired.

In the closing days, Licht appeared to realize that he had offended staff members. However, it was too late.

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