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Anchor Revolt: Jake Tapper, Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper Openly Criticized 'Dead Man Walking' Boss Chris Licht to Management Before Resignation

CNN Staffers Openly Criticized Boss Chris Licht Before Resignation
Source: Mega

Jun. 7 2023, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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At least three high-profile CNN hosts openly complained about boss Chris Licht’s leadership ahead of his sudden resignation from the network, RadarOnline.com has learned.

As RadarOnline.com reported, CNN announced on Wednesday morning that Licht would no longer be with the struggling news network just one year after he took over for Jeff Zucker after the latter’s departure in February 2022.

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CNN Staffers Openly Criticized Boss Chris Licht Before Resignation
Source: Mega

Licht’s exit this week came just days after the Atlantic published a scathing 15,000-word profile on the now-former CNN chairman – a profile that allegedly intensified concerns among staffers and hosts across the network’s newsroom.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of those high-profile hosts who openly expressed concerns regarding Licht’s leadership were Jake Tapper, Erin Burnett, and Anderson Cooper.

CNN Staffers Openly Criticized Boss Chris Licht Before Resignation
Source: Mega

The trio voiced their concerns to incoming CNN Chief Operating Officer David Leavy, the WSJ reported, and all three hosts purportedly cited the Atlantic’s 15,000-word profile on Licht as well as a series of other blunders as the basis for their concerns.

Although worries about Licht’s leadership and management reached a boiling point with the publication of the Atlantic’s profile on Friday, the situation at CNN was already heating up after he decided to host former President Donald Trump for a live town hall event in May.

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Meanwhile, CNN’s ratings suffered historic lows after Licht took over as CEO and chairman of the network in April 2022.

All of these issues, as well as reports that Licht was “completely disconnected” from his staffers, seemingly caused the former CNN CEO’s underlings to revolt and pressure management to axe him from the network.

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CNN Staffers Openly Criticized Boss Chris Licht Before Resignation
Source: Mega

“I feel like a quarterback without a coach,” one network insider said over the weekend.

“There’s no coming back from that profile,” added another anonymous CNN staffer regarding the Atlantic’s “blistering” and “embarrassing” piece on Licht.

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CNN Staffers Openly Criticized Boss Chris Licht Before Resignation
Source: Mega

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Licht was ultimately axed from the network on Wednesday morning.

“The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy, especially at a time of huge disruption and transformation, and he has poured his heart and soul into it," Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement confirming Licht’s departure.

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“While we know we have work to do as we look to identify a new leader,” Zaslav added, “we have absolute confidence in the team we have in place and will continue to fight for CNN and its world class journalism.”

Licht’s abrupt departure also came just two days after he signaled to staffers on Monday morning that he had no plans to leave CNN despite the growing backlash against him.

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