Chris Leach doesn't have many friends at his new job. After layoffs, layoffs and a shift in strategic focus that angered some, CNN's president and CEO recalled the end in a profile published by The New York Times today.
Warner Brazzers. Over lunch with Discovery CEO David Zaslav, president and CEO of CNN's parent company, he marked a key shift in his longtime relationship. “We have been friends for 15 years,” Zaslava told Lit. "We're not friends anymore, you work for me.
This was the start of Leach's attempt to remake CNN, which had veered to the left in previous years. Leach envisioned a less political and partisan media that would live up to his previous slogan as "the most reliable source of news". His Times profile noted that he wanted to have "argued debates on controversial issues" so that viewers could "bring what they hear [on CNN] to the table and discuss it." "This is my dream."
So far there have been mixed results. Jake Tupper of CNN told the story of how Kirsten Cinema moved to the Democratic Independent. But the first time dragged on, ending in a month. Similarly, CNN's This Morning hasn't done well with its competitors.
He noted that CNN has come under fire from liberals for trying to be less partisan.
“The unrepentant vitriol, especially on the left, was striking,” Leach once said. "It confirms my point: a lot of what passes for news is insults, half-truths and disappointments."
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