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Colbert Delivers A Farewell As Christ Licht Prepares To Run CNN

Late Monday night, Stephen Colbert quipped that CNN will soon be known as the Colbert News Network after Chris Licht, his executive producer prepared to fill the chair of the news network’s new CEO.

“I love you,” Colbert said to Licht, despite the anticipated sarcasm from the audience.

It was only after a tumultuous first tenure with Stephen Colbert at the helm that Licht was named executive producer of the “Late Show” in 2016. In the background, he kept everything in check, and as a result, his host’s scathing attacks on former US President Donald Trump pushed the broadcast to astronomical success.

When CNN CEO Jeff Zucker stepped down in May, Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed that Licht would be taking his position. Discovery expects to have completed its acquisition of Warner Media, the parent firm of CNN, by then.

This Isn’t Licht’s First Foray Into Media

Licht formerly served as executive producer of CBS This Morning and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” alongside Joe Scarborough. Colbert admitted on his episode that when he first encountered Chris six years ago over cocktails, he wasn’t sure whether he liked him or not.

During the interview, Colbert said that he and the “Late Show” team were “show business types” but “Chris is not.” His assessment of Licht was more nuanced. He described him as humble and demonstrating the gap between being an employer and being a boss in his work.

“I didn’t know whether I’d like him, but six years later I love you,” he said, addressing Licht, who stood just offstage. “I love you not for what you did for us, because that will continue. I love you for the man you are, the doting, thoughtful and loving father and husband to your family and the dear friend to me for the rest of my life.”

Some of Licht’s first tasks at CNN will include taking on a supervisory position that is well beyond his previous experience. After the termination of Chris Cuomo as well as the debut of the CNN+ streaming platform. According to reports, he’ll inherit a staff that’s been shaken by the acrimonious exit of Zucker.

Licht sent out an email to CNN staff on Monday, even though he wasn’t accessible for interviews. The Email reads-

“a journalist at heart. While I have enjoyed every minute at the ‘Late Show,’ I am joining CNN because I feel a genuine pull to return to news at such a critical moment in history.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Rehearsal 4/19/20 Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2016CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

As a supervising producer for Anderson Cooper’s program, Jenny Licht (Christ Litch’s Wife) CNN for ten years. As a “survivor,” Licht authored a book on how he overcame a brain hemorrhage she suffered in 2010.



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