Mark Thompson, the former New York Times and BBC chief, is reportedly a leading candidate to assume the top role at CNN, according to a Thursday Semafor report.
Thompson is in the mix for the top CNN job after the firing of Chris Licht in June. Since the ouster, the network has been led by veteran CNN executives, as it continues to struggle against the changing tides of the cable news environment.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment.
Thompson’s tenure at the New York Times was defined by his efforts to move the newspaper toward digital products, which allowed the Times to become a legitimate competition within digital news. Thompson left the Times in 2020 after eight years with the publication.
Thompson had a storied TV news career, starting as a producer in the 1980s, where he led top U.K. news shows. Thompson held top programming roles at the BBC, he then became the chief executive at Channel 4, and ultimately the director-general of the BBC.
Leadership has been a challenge for CNN as Licht, who was installed in the top role in 2022. It didn’t help that Licht was tasked with cutting hundreds of jobs at the network and ended up bungling programming decisions – like the widely panned Trump town hall – in his brief tenure.
Since Licht’s ouster, veteran CNN executives Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, and Eric Sherling have been leading the network. David Leavy, who was appointed just before Licht was fired, has been overseeing the business side of CNN.
The network overhauled its programming lineup last week, adding shows with younger talent such as Abby Philip and Manu Raju.
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