Chris Licht, the wunderkind producer who launched “Morning Joe,” retooled “CBS This Morning” and helped late night host Stephen Colbert gain traction on CBS, is jumping to CNN to take over the operation once its corporate parent, WarnerMedia, is acquired by Discovery in a much-anticipated merger expected to take place in April, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Licht could not be reached for immediate comment and a CNN spokesperson referred an inquiry to Discovery. A Discovery executive declined to comment. Executives at CBS, where Licht currently oversees “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and is an executive vice president involved with programming strategies, were not able to offer immediate comment. Puck previously reported the new deal, which is said to have been cemented by Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who lured Licht away from a growing development deal that Colbert and his senior team have put together with Paramount Global, CBS’ parent company.
In hiring Licht, Zaslav has lured an executive with similar qualities to Jeff Zucker, the former CNN chief whose facility with talent and news production lent CNN new relevance in recent years.
More to come….