Chris Licht, the CEO of CNN, is disputing the notion that Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” is a late-night show.
Journalist Kara Swisher sat down with Licht for a conversation on her podcast “On with Kara Swisher.”
Swisher kicked off the discussion on late-night shows by asking if there is a way to reach a larger audience.
“Colbert is very influential in news,” she began. “Could you inform a broader audience there than you could at CNN? My sons don’t watch CNN. They watch John Oliver, and that’s where they get their news.”
However, Licht pushed back on the idea that a late-night show would be considered news.
“It’s point of view. But I think we’re offering something different. And I think, there are certainly elements of that kind of delivery, right? Not necessarily comedy, but, if you look at someone like John Oliver or Bill Maher … it’s informed perspective programming that allows you to make your own decisions.”
Licht added, “And if we’re able to talk about really polarizing topics in a way that those guys can then I think that also makes us different.”
Listen to the podcast below:
Swisher then asked if CNN would have its own late-night show to compete with Gutfeld.
“I would call him just an entertaining show. I would not call him a late-night show,” Licht responded.
He added, “As someone who worked on a late-night show and knows what goes into that, I wouldn’t put it in the same category.”
When Swisher said Gutfeld beat late-night host Stephen Colbert in ratings, Licht shot back, “Are we gonna get into this conversation? That’s not true.”
“I’m still gonna defend my friend, Stephen,” he added.
Mediaite noted “Gutfeld!” is “not a traditional late-night show, as it airs 30 minutes earlier than Colbert on the East Coast and at 10 p.m. central and 8 p.m. on the West Coast as the show airs live.”
Finally, on the question of whether CNN would launch a late-night show, Licht said, “I wouldn’t rule out some kind of show that involved people talking in a way that was not delivering news in a straightforward manner, sure.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.