CNN Will Hire Ex-New York Times Chief As Next CEO: Report

Mark Thompson

Dave Thompson/PA Wire

CNN will name former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson to serve in that role for the struggling cable news network, Dylan Byers of Puck News reported on Tuesday night.

David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, is expected to make the announcement soon, according to two sources who spoke to Byers. Thompson was also the director general of the BBC.

“Thompson, an accomplished veteran of both television and digital media with a reputation for restructuring legacy media assets and pursuing innovative growth strategies, will inherit a storied news network that has been beset in recent years by dramatic leadership shakeups, diminished ratings and revenue, and the broader decline of the linear television industry,” Byers reported.

The hire comes after CNN fired CEO Chris Licht in June after overseeing one of the rockier eras for the network in the wake of Jeff Zucker’s ouster last year.

Meanwhile, Axios reported that Thompson “would be encouraged to manage the network independently, which could include hiring his own team.”

Byers juxtaposed the background of Thompson – a longtime newsman – with Licht’s, stating:

Thompson, a former public market company C.E.O., could not pose a starker contrast to Licht, a former cable news and late night executive producer. At the Times Co., in particular, Thompson deftly architected a plan that rescued the business from its darkest financial hour in generations.


He created the strategy that his successor Meredith Kopit Levien has navigated peerlessly. These days, the Times Company trades around the same price as during its dot-com boom halcyon days.

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Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.