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New CNN Boss Issues Stark Warning to Employees: ‘Might Not’ Like What’s Coming

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The hosts at CNN are on alert now that there is a new boss, new management, and an old host done with the company.

The new bosses from Warner Bros Disney are making changes to many of the things they own, from movies, to television to streaming services, and CNN is among them.

After “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter was announced to be done with the network the new CNN president, Chris Licht, had a conference call with staff on Friday.

According to sources who were on the call, Licht warned CNN staffers that they “might not” like decisions that are coming down the pipe, another indication that the flagging legacy cable news outlet is about to experience significant upheaval.

“I want to acknowledge that this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled,” Licht said, according to several who attended Friday’s editorial call, The Hollywood Reporter noted. “There will be more changes, and you might not understand it or like it.”

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“No one is safe or secure right now,” one source on the phone call told the outlet Deadline.

“I think people are legitimately sad that Brian is leaving,” one staffer at CNN told the Hollywood Reporter, anonymously. “He was a big presence at the network — but understand that Chris has to put his stamp on the network.”

“If this isn’t coming from John Malone directly, it sure represents his thinking with lieutenants doing his bidding,” an insider said to Deadline.

One of Stelter’s guests on his last show on Sunday mentioned Malone and asked the host if he thought he was involved.

Claire Atkinson, the chief media correspondent for Insider, who mentioned John Malone, a major Warner Bros. Discovery shareholder and asked if he was responsible for Stelter’s show getting cancelled.

“I think that’s a good question that people are asking: Is John Malone responsible for axing your show?” she said. “I don’t know the answer to that. I think people might suspect it’s political. He’s a libertarian who believes in not paying taxes if he can avoid it … He said he’s not directly not involved. That’s an interesting quote. But then, I think he’s a businessman. He’s looking at where the money is, where the audience is. And the viewership on the left is split between CNN and MSNBC, and the viewership on the right is all at Fox News. They have a bigger audience, lots of money, and perhaps he’s saying, ‘You know what, if we shift a little bit this way, maybe we’ll get that, too.’”

“There definitely will be more change,” the host said, in what could be a warning to others at CNN.

The host had more to say about his show on Sunday.

“I love this show,” he said. “This small but mighty show punched above its weight for so many years. Even a former president commented on the cancellation. Reliable sources has been a one of a kind show, and a popular show. This is one of CNN’s highest rated weekend shows,” the host said.

He said that his show was “part of journalism school curriculum” and that is why his show’s legacy will continue.

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“The thing about TV is that it’s ephemeral, right?” he said. “It’s fleeting. It evaporates up into the air, and a lot of it is not even meant to be remembered. But this program transcended that.”

“CNN has a new owner. Warner Brothers Discovery is making big changes across the company,” he said.

After news broke of Brian Stelter, a major Trump critic, being gone from CNN, the former president celebrated on Truth Social.

“Brian Stelter of Fake News CNN got fired because he lied, and lied, and lied – ABOUT ME. May he REST IN PEACE!”  the former president said.

CNN did not say that it fired the host.

“Trivia question: Who’s got less charisma, Brian Stelter or Liz Cheney. I say Liz Cheney, because Stelter could have gotten more votes than she did the other night in Wyoming – She lost by 40!” he said.

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