CNN’s new boss, Chris Licht announced on Monday that his network’s Executive Vice President of Programming, Michael Bass will be leaving the company by the end of the year.
Licht announced Bass’ departure to his employee in a memo.
“Throughout his nearly decade-long run at this organization Michael has demonstrated incredible leadership and perseverance. He has been a steady hand during some of the most turbulent times this network has faced,” Licht told CNN employees.
“Michael kept CNN live and on air as COVID-19 shut the world down. Never has CNN been more essential than those bleak days when people were struggling to understanding the pandemic,” Licht wrote. “Michael helped create a number of new shows and overhaul legacy programs. His full list of accomplishments is too great to acknowledge in a single memo.”
Axios Media Reporter Sara Fischer confirmed the news, and shared part of Licht’s memo, “CNN’s longtime domestic programming chief Michael Bass is leaving the network at the end of the year, per a note from CEO Chris Licht to staff. — ‘We are launching a search for Michael’s replacement, and we will communicate an interim plan in the coming days,’ Licht wrote.”
NEW: CNN’s longtime domestic programming chief Michael Bass is leaving the network at the end of the year, per a note from CEO Chris Licht to staff.
— “We are launching a search for Michael’s replacement, and we will communicate an interim plan in the coming days,” Licht wrote.
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) November 21, 2022
Bass was a likely successor to CNN’s former CEO, Jeff Zucker who resigned in disgrace over an extra-marital affair with a network executive. Despite Zucker’s disgraceful resignation, Bass urged employees to “honor” Zucker’s legacy.
“I know we’re all in shock,” Michael Bass said on CNN’s 9am editorial call today. “You can’t replace Jeff. It’s not possible. There’s no one else like him.” So “the best thing we can do is honor his legacy and continue his mission.” “Do what we’ve been doing every single day,” Former CNN media analyst, Brian Stelter reported at the time.
"I know we're all in shock," Michael Bass said on CNN's 9am editorial call today. "You can't replace Jeff. It's not possible. There's no one else like him." So "the best thing we can do is honor his legacy and continue his mission." "Do what we've been doing every single day."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 3, 2022
Bass’ exit comes amid major staffing changes undertaken by Licht’s leadership. One of the most significant changes was ending one of the network’s biggest failures, Brian Stelter’s Sunday show, which was ironically titled, “Reliable Sources.”
Licht has urged hosts to focus on a more “neutral” reporting style going forward.
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