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Opinion

Anderson Cooper Takes Shot at Former CNN Boss

Anderson Cooper addresses criticism about Trump town hall | via CNN

In a recent interview, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper expressed his uncertainty regarding the vision and objectives of former CEO Chris Licht during his tenure at the network.

Cooper, who hosts a primetime show on CNN, is now under the leadership of his third boss in less than two years, following Mark Thompson’s appointment last month.

Licht rightfully believed that CNN’s coverage during the Trump administration had alienated a significant portion of the country due to its blatant left-wing bias and resistance-style reporting under the previous boss, Jeff Zucker.

Cooper’s response to Licht’s analysis was candid: “I don’t know what Chris Licht’s analysis was. I don’t have much confidence that I actually know what he was thinking.”

Interviewer David Marchese questioned the significance of this uncertainty, to which Cooper acknowledged, “Yeah, that’s a problem. I mean, I read things in the paper, but I’m not sure what the point of it all was.”

While Jeff Zucker was well-regarded at CNN for his close relationships with staff and his outspoken stance against former President Trump, Licht faced criticism for his handling of editorializing at the network and his perceived isolation from the CNN team.

When asked if there was any communication regarding the network’s direction with high-profile anchors like himself, Cooper mentioned meeting with Licht and having a general understanding of the concerns.

However, he emphasized that they didn’t delve deeply into discussions about his role, stating, “With Chris, I had a meeting with him when he first started and touched base from time to time, but we didn’t have a ton of communications.”

Licht’s tenure at CNN was marked by various actions, including the discontinuation of the CNN+ streaming service, staff changes involving the removal of Brian Stelter, John Harwood, and Jeffrey Toobin, outreach to disenchanted Republicans, the launch of a morning show featuring Don Lemon, and Lemon’s subsequent dismissal following on-air incidents.

Licht’s final major move, hosting a town hall with former President Trump in May, stirred controversy. The event featured a lively GOP audience in New Hampshire, where Trump engaged with the crowd and brushed off moderator Kaitlan Collins’ attempts to fact-check his claims.

Liberals criticized Licht for the spectacle, with Cooper later delivering an on-air editorial condemning Trump’s statements while acknowledging the importance of hearing from a potential Republican presidential nominee.

Regarding the town hall, Cooper mentioned there were valid questions about how to cover Trump but remained uncertain about welcoming Trump, whom he had previously interviewed, onto his show: “I don’t know at this point. I’m not sure. I personally would not have chosen to do a town hall.”

Mark Thompson, formerly associated with the BBC and New York Times, was recently appointed as the new CEO of CNN, succeeding Licht, who was dismissed in June following the town hall controversy and a critical profile in The Atlantic.

Licht’s departure generated mixed reactions within CNN, with some attributing it to his efforts to balance the network’s ideological representation, while others viewed it as inevitable.

Anderson Cooper is a prominent American journalist and television anchor known for his work on CNN.

He gained widespread recognition for his reporting, particularly during major events such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

His journalism career has earned him numerous awards and accolades, and he is well-regarded for his thoughtful and empathetic approach to storytelling.

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