By Tim Graham
Fox News media reporter Brian Flood reported that former New York Times columnist and podcaster Kara Swisher proclaimed Warner Bros. boss David Zaslav “needs to get the f—k out of the way” and “let the professionals take over” and try to fix CNN.
Zaslav’s pick as CNN CEO, Chris Licht, was pushed out this week after the CNN employees were in revolt after CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump. After that show, CNN’s ratings dipped even lower, losing to Newsmax on some nights.
“I think they can be news without having to declare constantly they’re centrist,” Swisher said on her “Pivot” podcast for New York magazine. “That was… very much David Zaslav. Let me just say, I think Chris was a proxy for him.”
“It’s a bad business, and he got a bad morale,” Swisher said of Licht. She proclaimed there was “no upside” to Licht’s year-long with Tim Alberta of The Atlantic. She kept saying of Licht, “Can you stop talking? You need to stop talking.” She said Licht didn’t “read the room” that CNN employees loved the old boss, Jeff Zucker. “I think media reporters decided to feast on this guy, and by the way, he kind of deserves it.”
Swisher said she’s previously had “vexing” conversations with Zaslav about his theories on journalism.
“I think he’s a very smart programmer, but honestly, it’s like talking to my uncle about journalism,” Swisher said. “I’m like, ‘What?’ I said ‘what’ a lot during our conversation, so he needs to let the professionals take over and see if they can make good programming. He needs to get the f—k out of the way.”
Swisher added that she feels Zaslav “worships at the altar” of Warner Bros. Discovery board member John Malone, who has said CNN needs to “actually have journalists” and urged the network to revert to doing “news” instead of opinion. Swisher obviously reflects the viewpoint of the Zucker fans inside CNN and bragged “I get more calls from CNN people [who are] unhappy.”
In 2021, Malone said “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.” Then he really roiled CNN with “Fox News, in my opinion, has followed an interesting trajectory of trying to have ‘news’ news, I mean some actual journalism, embedded in a program schedule of all opinions.”
Swisher recently tweeted Rupert Murdoch and his “minions” are a “coven of toxic ghouls.”
To get a sense of what Swisher thinks “the news” is, she proclaimed that she gets most of her television via streaming shows, but she likes Stephanie Ruhle’s MSNBC show late at night because “I like the news at the end of the days, and I think she does a very fair job of it.”
Editor’s note. This appeared on Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.