Thompson will replace Chris Licht, who stepped down from the cable news channel in June after a brief and tumultuous tenure at the company. Licht, a longtime television executive, had taken over for Jeff Zucker, who left in 2022 after failing to disclose a consensual relationship with a longtime co-worker.
Thompson will face several challenges in his new role. He’ll not only need to restore calm at CNN after the ouster of two CEOs. He’ll also need to turn around a network that’s getting dragged down by the rapid decline of cable TV and position the channel for the streaming era. Starting next month, CNN will begin airing live news on Max, its parent company’s streaming service.
CNN’s subscribers have fallen from 85 million in 2020 to 70 million this year, while advertising revenue dropped 33% to $563 million during that time, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.