The meeting was organised by Stephen Colbert to ‘cool the frenzy’ about Chris Licht’s departure.
Flaunt Weekly has discovered that Stephen Colbert called an emergency meeting on Saturday to allay colleagues’ worries that their showrunner, Chris Licht, will be snatched by CNN.
“Licht held a [normal] staff meeting [Friday], and he made no mention of CNN.” According to a person acquainted with the meeting, “it was business as usual.”
When it was announced on Saturday that Licht, 50, will succeed Jeff Zucker as CNN president, we’re told Colbert, 57, convened a Zoom staff conference at 2 p.m. to “cool the hysteria.”
Colbert had planned to notify the team about Licht’s leaving this week, but buzzy news site Puck beat him to it by reporting on the producer’s new job first.
The Zoom conference was led by the chief writer of “The Late Show,” and it was described as “very lighthearted.”
“Stephen was relieved that he didn’t have to maintain the secret any longer,” our source says, adding that “no mention was made of who would succeed Chris as showrunner.”
Discovery, which is merging with CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros., officially confirmed Licht’s appointment as CEO of CNN Global on Monday.
“I’ve known and respected Chris for over 15 years and am certain that he is the greatest candidate to run CNN Global.” In a statement, David Zaslav, the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, stated, “He is a highly principled man who is trustworthy, industrious, and makes every company stronger, more inventive, and more united.”
“I’m pleased to have this chance,” Licht said in a statement. “Especially at such a critical moment for our country and the globe.”
“CNN has a long and illustrious history, and I pledge to protect and expand on it. For an extraordinary run, I am eternally thankful to Stephen Colbert and the legendary ‘Late Show’ staff. “I’m excited to get back to my journalism origins,” he remarked.
When Colbert was appointed as David Letterman’s replacement at CBS in 2014, he was seen as a risky decision. However, Licht assisted in propelling the comedian’s show to the top of late-night ratings, surpassing NBC’s “Tonight Show” competitor Jimmy Fallon.