CNN Chairman Says He Wants to ‘Try Some Things’ in Chris Cuomo’s Old Slot

Chris Licht, the new chairman of CNN, told employees in a town hall meeting on Thursday that he hoped to have a new show in the 9 p.m. hour this fall after experimenting with the time-slot over the summer.

The 9 p.m. hour is a crucial time for the network, historically generating some of CNN’s highest ratings and delivering valuable advertising revenue. The previous anchor, Chris Cuomo, was fired by CNN last year after an inquiry into his efforts to help his brother, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

“Let’s try some things at 9 o’clock,” Mr. Licht said, according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The New York Times. “Let’s have some fun with it. Let’s just try some things. But my intention is to have a show ready to launch in the fall at 9 o’clock.”

Thursday’s meeting, which lasted more than an hour, was the first time Mr. Licht spoke to CNN employees since he took over as chairman of CNN this week. Mr. Licht addressed them at the end of April when he shut down CNN+, the ambitious venture that aimed to provide a beachhead for the network in streaming.

A CNN spokesman declined to comment.

During the meeting, Mr. Licht was interviewed by Erin Burnett, host of CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” which airs weeknights at 7.

Ms. Burnett asked Mr. Licht about his approach to CNN’s morning programming, which includes “New Day” and “Early Start.” Mr. Licht said he thought CNN’s morning show could be a “disruptive force” and added that he planned to work with the CNN executive producer Eric Hall to figure out the future of its early lineup.

“Once I find out where the bathrooms are, one of the things I’m really looking forward to is sitting down with him and his team and figuring out what can this show be?” Mr. Licht said.

The last few months have been a tumultuous period for CNN. The network’s long-serving president, Jeff Zucker, resigned in February after failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a close colleague.

Mr. Licht also said during the meeting that he hoped Chris Wallace, the former “Fox News Sunday” anchor, who hosted a show on CNN+, would stay with the network. Mr. Licht said that Mr. Wallace was a “tremendous talent” and that the network was also working on a podcast and a show with the former NPR host Audie Cornish, who also hosted a show on CNN+.

The news site Puck reported earlier that CNN was planning to keep Mr. Wallace at the network and was moving his show onto the HBO Max streaming service.

In response to a question about layoffs, Mr. Licht said he did not plan to make large cuts to the employee ranks at CNN.

“This is an organization that has had gut punch after gut punch after gut punch,” he said. “And most of the organizations out there wouldn’t have survived.”

Toward the end of the meeting, Mr. Licht said he had had conversations with Mr. Zucker about how CNN employees don’t leak, adding that he thought the network had “gone away from that a little bit.”

“Let’s have this be a reset,” Mr. Licht said.

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