CNN President Asking GOP Lawmakers to Please Come Back, Give the Network Another Chance

CNN President Chris Licht’s message to Republican lawmakers: We’re sorry. Please, come back.

In July, Licht took a trip to Capitol Hill to make amends between CNN and the GOP, lawmakers told the Free Beacon. During the visit, Licht met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Licht and his boss, Warner Brothers Discovery chief David Zaslav, say they are committed to reshaping the image of CNN no matter the ratings. (CNN makes most of its revenue from cable subscription fees, not commercial advertising, anyway.)

Licht and his overlords have said for months that they’d pivot CNN away from partisan opinions and gain the reputation of a trusted news agency.

For that to happen, CNN must not neglect an entire half of the country, as it did under the leadership of Jeff Zucker.

During the 2020 election, only nine percent of CNN’s audience identified as Republican. And after sticking a proverbial middle finger at anyone who didn’t subscribe to left-wing groupthink, gaining the trust of conservative viewers will be no easy task.

But Licht is correct in that it begins with giving GOP lawmakers ample airtime and committing to honest dialogue, which he told lawmakers the network would. 

Still, CNN employs the type of hosts who will stonewall any improving relationship between CNN and the Right. It’s hard to convince Republicans that CNN has moved to the middle when characters like Don Lemon, Brianna Keilar, and Jim Acosta host shows on the network.

To add to the skepticism, far-Left radio host Laura Coates is more often than not the guest host for the vacant 9 pm hour. CNN will name a permanent host this fall, and it could be Coates.

So, CNN either needs to fire these partisans or offset them with conservative equals, a path no one expects CNN to take.

Even if CNN pulls off a turn to the middle, it’s likely that most former viewers won’t return to the channel to find out if the newly reported reputation is accurate. The public would inherently doubt that CNN has changed.

As we explained in a column last week, trust in corporate media brands is at an all-time low. Only 11 percent of American adults trust the TV news. When you lie about everything, viewers won’t believe what you say about your own network.

 

Digging out of a hole is never as easy as the dig.

Count me as skeptical that Republican lawmakers will clamor to get back on CNN.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

3 Comments

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  1. I agree with this article except that last line. Republicans, especially the old core, are like Charlie Brown and the football she keeps pulling from him. They keep falling for the same BS from the media and expecting a different result. The reason why Republicans voters like Trump and DeSantis is they understand the media’s games and are adept at pushing back on narratives.

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