“The uninformed vitriol, especially from the left, has been stunning,” Licht, who took over the cable network in May, told The New York Times. “Which proves my point: So much of what passes for news is name-calling, half-truths and desperation.”
He told the Times he thinks of people in the political center as “normal” — but insists appealing to “normal” people doesn’t mean the content should be boring.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bulls—,” Licht told the Financial Times in November. “You have to be compelling. You have to have edge.”
He told the Times he wants the network to be a place for “rational conversation about polarizing issues.”
Licht said his dream is for viewers, after watching CNN, “take what they’ve heard to the dinner table and have a discussion.”
He also revealed that President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav had to lobby him for several weeks to the take job, which he now views as a calling.
He started his job a day after the network’s streaming service CNN+ was shuttered less than a month after it launched.