Dan Abrams: Turning CNN Into a Non-Partisan Network ‘Isn’t Going to Be Easy With the Staff They Currently Have’


NewsNation host and Mediaite Founder Dan Abrams blamed Chris Licht’s leadership failure on the CNN employees who refused to back the latter’s efforts to revamp the network’s editorial direction.

The Dan Abrams Live host, in a commentary on Wednesday, tackles the news that Licht and several top CNN executives were fired amid shrinking viewership, editorial missteps, and a loss of faith in Licht among CNN’s employees. Abrams argued that amid all the media frenzy, people are “missing the real story here.”

“Yes, CEO Chris Licht made some major errors in his 13-month tenure running the network,” Abrams conceded. “But the bigger issue is how unreceptive, in fact, downright hostile, the CNN rank and file were to Licht’s mission of transitioning away from the left-leaning hyperbolic punditry, which has been CNN’s calling card in recent years. They just want to keep doing things the way that they’ve been doing them for the past seven or eight years.”

Abrams drove the point that the network employees celebrating Licht’s demise “just aren’t admitting that the real issue” is that the former CEO was trying to reorient the network toward non-partisanship.

“That is not going to be easy with the staff they currently have,” Abrams said.

The segment delved into The Atlantic’s recent profile on Licht, which put the ex-CEO in an unflattering light and led to a loss of confidence among CNN’s staff. Abrams argued that if CNN’s staff could pause for some reflection, they might think that Licht had a point when he objected to their hyper-alarmist coverage on Covid and other topics in order to spike up their ratings — a point Licht made in the article which sparked outrage at CNN headquarters.

Abrams referred to an internal CNN study whose findings were obtained by Mediaite which showed that liberal bias was the network’s biggest weakness in establishing public trust.

“But inside the CNN bubble,” said Abrams, “those critiques are apparently forbidden. And that’s the problem that the next CEO will face at CNN and maybe the one after that. They’re going to run up against a team that’s either unwilling or en capable of carrying out that mission. Sadly, it seems the only way to really turn CNN into a non-partisan outfit is to clean house.”

Watch above via NewsNation.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: