Chris Licht

MONEY & BUSINESS: CNN seeking digital chief with ‘responsible’ spending habits during cost-cutting push

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The new bosses at CNN are aiming to hire a top digital media executive with a reputation for “responsible” spending as they pursue budget-tightening measures.

WarnerBros. Discovery posted a job listing for an “executive vice president & chief digital officer” for CNN Digital that would be responsible for leading its website as well as mobile and OTT streaming efforts.

The listing, first reported by Mediaite, notes that the company is seeking a candidate “with a reputation of being a responsible spender.” The description also calls for an individual “with a demonstrated ability to get a sprawling organization rowing in the same direction.”

The Post reached out to CNN seeking further comment.

WarnerBros Discovery CEO David Zaslav and new CNN President Chris Licht are leading a management shakeup at CNN. Executives are pushing to reshape the left-leaning network’s internal structure and re-emphasize fact-based coverage rather than opinion content.

As The Post reported in April, staffers feared a potential “bloodbath” of layoffs and cuts following WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery. Sources said Zaslav was expected to take a “hands on” role as the new entity sought to shave $3 billion from its expenses in 2023.

Chris Licht took over as CNN’s boss earlier this year.
Getty Images for Warner Bros. Di

One of the most notable cuts was the implosion of CNN+, which shut down roughly one month after its launch following dismal viewership figures. One insider estimated that CNN+ cost $300 million to launch and another $100 million in advertising.

Zaslav pledged in April that the company, which also owns HBO, TLC and the Food Network, would not “overspend” to expand its streaming offerings.

“We will clearly take swift and decisive actions on certain items, as you saw on CNN+ last week,” Zaslav said during an earnings call at the time.

CNN
CNN shuttered its streaming service after just one month.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The shakeup at CNN isn’t limited to the network’s budget. Licht is said to be monitoring the network’s personalities to see how well they adjust to the mandate for grounded journalism – with anchors who are unable to stay neutral potentially up for dismissal.

The changes have also resulted in the departure of several top executive since former CNN chief Jeff Zucker resigned earlier this year for failing to properly disclose a relationship with a subordinate.

Rebecca Kutler, the senior vice president and head of programming for the now-defunct streaming service CNN+, became the latest noteworthy departure this week.



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