CNN Zuckerbots Are Reportedly ‘Eager to...Work,’ Buoyed by ‘Optimism’ They Axed Licht

June 15th, 2023 11:17 AM

Puck’s Dylan Byers ended last week with some scuttlebutt on his ex-employer following the axing of CNN boss Chris Licht that, as we’ve repeatedly documented (see here and here), came down to a Mean Girls-like disgust and smear campaign by the litany of CNN employees Licht and Warner Bros. Discovery head honcho David Zaslav not only failed to jettison for loyalty to former puppetmaster Jeff Zucker, but gain buy-in for CNN to be more centrist and less toxic.

According to Byers, the inmates are ebullient over Licht being canned and replaced (at least for now) with a triumvirate of longtime CNN executives that have left them with “feelings of relief and optimism” and able to return to how they behaved during the Trump presidency. What children.

The thin-skinned CNN employers were said, as per Byers, to be nearly uniform in possessing “widespread feelings of relief and optimism, a sense that their long national nightmare has finally come to an end.”

How self-important are these people? Byers added that “[s]ome” CNNers cited “the lifting of the” smoke in New York from Canadian wildfires “as a fitting metaphor for their own condition.”

In turn, the triumvirate is seen as “trusted CNN veterans who predated Licht’s arrival and, at least psychologically, feel like a bridge back to the era of Jeff Zucker, their revered former leader.”

Oh, joy.

But, wait, there’s more:

Meanwhile, David Leavy, the Zaslav deputy who was recently installed as CNN’s business leader, has telegraphed a desire to repair WBD’s relations with Zucker—an overture that may have to begin with an apology, given how WBD executives accused him of damaging CNN’s brand while he was in office, then of trying to undermine Licht once he was on the outside.

It became even more nauseating when it was revealed this not-so-merry band of egotists “feel eager to return to work” and, given the news cycle, being able to not worry about those pesky stories that affect real Americans and instead focus almost exclusively on Trump “has now given them a renewed sense of purpose—and, they hope, an opportunity to grow ratings”.

Despite Byers reminding readers Zaslav and those around him haven’t shown any signs of wanting CNN to change (for the better), it’s nonetheless a eye-rolling endeavor for anyone who has to stomach this network.

As this writer told Fox News Digital, Licht “refused to rip the network down to the studs with personnel still loyal to Zucker to the point of idolatry...[T]here’s a vibe that CNN has returned to becoming pugnacious, almost taunting you to scream at them through the TV. And an aura of divisiveness is back like a teenager who put on too much body spray for a school dance. CNN must think returning to being a disingenuous MSNBC will help resurrect their ratings.”

Earlier in the piece, Byers added new color on why Licht initially lost trust as, after CNN had insisted they would be immune from layoffs by their parent company (except for CNN+), Licht was clotheslined by news from corporate that, actually, CNN would have to lay off scores of employees in late November.

This, Byers explained, caused CNNers to see Licht as “a hypocrite, a leader who could not be trusted, maybe even a patsy.”