Brian Stelter, the highest media reporter at CNN, is leaving the network after executives decided to cancel his Sunday show, “Reliable Sources,” in one among the primary big programming moves under latest leadership at the corporate.
The ultimate edition of the show shall be on Sunday, a spokesman for CNN said on Thursday.
The cancellation of “Reliable Sources” — a show that has aired for about three a long time — is a striking change by Chris Licht, the brand new chairman of CNN, who took over this spring after the sudden resignation of Jeff Zucker. Mr. Zucker left after failing to reveal a romantic relationship with one other top CNN executive.
Under Mr. Licht, CNN has eschewed the “breaking news” banners that after heralded stories large and small, and political news shows have tried to book more conservative voices. He has given few other public clues about any possible broader changes on the cable network.
But leaders of CNN’s latest corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, have suggested that they need the network’s programming to have more straight news reporting and fewer opinionated takes from hosts. David Zaslav, the corporate’s chief executive, has said that he wants a network for each Republicans and Democrats. John Malone, an influential Warner Bros. Discovery shareholder, said that he wanted the network to “evolve back to the sort of journalism that it began with” in an interview with CNBC last 12 months.
That latest focus appeared to put Mr. Stelter, who has been critical of former President Donald J. Trump and his treatment of the press, in possible jeopardy. On average, during that point slot, more people watched Mr. Stelter’s show lately than they did MSNBC, but fewer people watched it than Fox News, in response to data from Nielsen.
In an email to The Recent York Times, Mr. Malone said that he had “nothing to do with” the cancellation of Mr. Stelter’s show. Mr. Malone said he wants “the ‘news’ portion of CNN to be more centrist, but I’m not on top of things or directly involved.”
The choice to cancel the show is an element of CNN’s “refreshed Sunday lineup,” the corporate spokesman said on Thursday. The lineup will include numerous latest programs, comparable to “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” an interview program featuring the veteran Sunday show interlocutor.
More changes are expected. Mr. Licht, a veteran producer who helped conceive MSNBC’s popular “Morning Joe” round table, told employees in a town-hall meeting that he intends to be involved within the network’s morning programming. He has also said that he’s planning to retool among the evening programming, including at 9 p.m., where the departure of Chris Cuomo has left a critical gap in prime time.
Mr. Licht recently hired Ryan Kadro, who was previously the manager producer of “CBS This Morning,” to assist develop latest programming. Puck, a news site, earlier reported on the hire.
The corporate praised Mr. Stelter for his work on the network.
“We appreciate his contributions to the network and want him well as he embarks on latest endeavors,” the CNN spokesman said.
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Amy Entelis, CNN’s executive vp for talent and content development, said in a press release that Mr. Stelter would depart CNN as “an impeccable broadcaster.”
“We’re happy with what Brian and his team completed through the years, and we’re confident their impact and influence will long outlive the show,” Ms. Entelis said.
In a press release, Mr. Stelter said that he was grateful for the last nine years at CNN and thankful to viewers who tuned in.
“It was a rare privilege to steer a weekly show focused on the press at a time when it has never been more consequential,” Mr. Stelter said. “I’ll have more to say on Sunday.”
The network and its website will proceed covering the media industry. Oliver Darcy, a senior media reporter at CNN, will lead CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter. Staff of Mr. Stelter’s show have been invited to use to other jobs on the network.
News of the show’s cancellation was earlier reported by NPR. It put Mr. Stelter, 36, an inveterate media reporter with an unflagging presence on Twitter, in the weird position of being at the middle of a story in an industry he covers.
Before he joined CNN, Mr. Stelter spent six years at The Recent York Times, where he became known for breaking big stories concerning the TV news industry. He was hired at The Times after he had founded a media news site, TV Newser, from his dorm room at Towson University.
Last 12 months, Mr. Stelter signed a deal for an additional 4 years at a salary of near $1 million annually for his work on TV along with the Reliable Sources newsletter, his podcast and a each day show for the defunct CNN+ streaming service, in response to 4 individuals with knowledge of the discussions. Several other major CNN stars, including Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, even have deals which have them locked in for not less than two more years.
Mr. Stelter was told of his show’s cancellation at a gathering with Mr. Licht on Wednesday, said two of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to relay confidential discussions.
News of Mr. Stelter’s departure from CNN comes lower than every week after Jeffrey Toobin, a longtime legal affairs commentator on the network, announced he was leaving.