CNN host Oliver Darcy will not leave the network — not today, anyway.
Amid plunging viewership, CNN is in a battle for its survival, and newer CEO Chris Licht is working to bring the news platform from far left back toward the center. A recent bold move in that direction was the network’s decision to coordinate the first town hall of the 2024 election cycle, featuring former President Donald Trump.
Many left-leaning media and government leaders criticized the event, which most say elevated Trump’s political ambitions at President Joe Biden’s expense.
Darcy publicly complained that CNN and Licht were “facing a fury of criticism — both internally and externally over Wednesday’s town hall.”
Trump is said to have steamrolled the moderator, CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins, when she pressed him on details related to the 2020 election and the open lawsuits he’s fighting.
Some at CNN were unhappy about the town hall event, and host Oliver Darcy referenced the internal backlash in ill-advised comments.
CNN’s CEO, who has released several top names perceived as unwilling or unable to present news with a more centrist perspective, reportedly summoned Darcy for a meeting. Many believed he would be given walking papers as had Brian Stelter, Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo.
According to Semafor, Darcy “wondered aloud to colleagues whether he should quit or if he would be fired after he was summoned to a meeting with Licht on Thursday.”
On Monday, CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic told the Post that Oliver Darcy was not leaving the network, stating: “Oliver does not intend to resign, and his newsletter will be out per usual this evening.”
According to Semafor, a source reported that Licht reportedly told Darcy he wanted to see more objective coverage, “I’m asking you to not be emotional,” the source said, paraphrasing what Licht told Darcy at the meeting on Thursday.
Semafor reports that Darcy pushed back on Licht’s characterization, stating that the reporting accurately reflected the whispers at CNN.
Licht reportedly warned the commentator about airing dirty laundry.
An unnamed source close to the situation told Fox News that Darcy was “visibly shaken” after the meeting with Licht.
Darcy noted his controversial comments in his newsletter for CNN — Darcy maintains the material was “vetted by CNN’s top editorial executives before it was published.”
Virginia Moseley, CNN’s vice president of editorial, and Rachel Smolkin, the network’s senior vice president of global news, signed off on Darcy’s newsletter and attended Thursday’s meeting between Darcy and Licht.
Semafor reports that both were “relatively quiet” as Licht expressed his displeasure to Darcy.
The town hall event garnered near-record ratings for CNN.
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