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Mark Thompson for CNN?

August 24, 2023

Former BBC and New York Times chief Mark Thompson is in talks to take over at CNN, Warner Bros Discovery’s (WBD) troubled news network. Thompson is among several candidates according to a Semafor report.

WBD has been searching for a news leader since sacking Chris Licht in June. Licht’s time at CNN was controversial, including staff revolts. He was brought in from MSNBC after the WBD merger and the axing of the CNN+ subscription service. CNN has fallen to a distant third place in the ratings, behind rivals Fox News and MSNBC. On average only 573,000 people watched CNN on any given evening in the second quarter of this year, down from 1.8 million during the same period in 2020, according to Nielsen figures.

Thompson was DG for the BBC 2004 to 2012, where he was saw the development of the iPlayer. At The New York Times as CEO he steered the newspaper through digital transformation and a successful subs drive before stepping down in 2020.

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