A top executive is set to leave CNN by the end of the year as the network continues to re-organize under CEO Chris Licht’s new regime.
CNN’s executive vice president of programming, Michael Bass is departing his role after more than a decade.
“I’m writing to let you know that Michael Bass has made the decision to leave CNN at the end of this year,” the memo said. “As head of domestic programming, 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. But on the heels of the midterms, it’s worth noting that he oversaw coverage of elections, town halls and debates.”
Bass, whose resume includes previous stints at CBS and NBC, is likely not the last high-profile employee to leave the network in the coming weeks. Last week, Licht revealed more layoffs are expected to come in early December.
Those who will be laid off will receive anywhere from a 60- to 90-day notice.
CNN’s new CEO has sent shockwaves through the network as he seeks to implement major changes from the top down. Numerous hosts, including Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, have left the network while others like Don Lemon have seen their role within the company shift.
Many have speculated Licht plans to take CNN in a more moderate direction after years of hyper-partisan reporting, however, Licht says that is simply speculation.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bullshit,” Licht told the Financial Times this week. “You have to be compelling. You have to have edge. In many cases you take a side. Sometimes you just point out uncomfortable questions. But either way you don’t see it through a lens of left or right.”
“We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers,” Licht wrote in one of his earliest memos to CNN staffers this summer. “You’ve already seen far less of the “Breaking News” banner across our programming. The tenor of our voice holistically has to reflect that.”
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