Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) has named Mark Thompson as the new chairman and CEO of CNN, signaling a new direction for the news network following the departure of former chief Chris Licht earlier this year.
Thompson, who formerly served as director-general of the BBC and president and CEO of The New York Times Co., will assume the roles of chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, reporting directly to WBD CEO David Zaslav.
The appointment will be effective starting October 9th.
Thompson will be taking over from a group of interim leaders who will continue in their roles and now report to the new chief. These leaders include Amy Entelis, head of Talent and Content Development; David Leavy, chief operating officer; Virginia Moseley, head of Editorial for CNN U.S.; and Eric Sherling, head of U.S. Programming.
As editor-in-chief, Thompson will be responsible for all CNN content and will also lead the network’s strategy, operations, and business units.
“There is no executive in the news industry today with more experience, respect, or capability than Mark, and we are thrilled to have him join our team and guide CNN Worldwide into the future,” said Zaslav. “Mark is a true innovator who has successfully transformed two of the world’s most esteemed news organizations for the digital age.”
Thompson left The New York Times in 2020 after eight years with the company, and prior to that, he served as the director-general (CEO and editor-in-chief) of the BBC. Licht’s departure in June followed a turbulent year and increasing discord within CNN.