WarnerMedia CEO stepping down ahead of merger with Discovery
The CEO of WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, has informed staff that he will be stepping down from his position ahead of the company’s impending merger with Discovery.
“With the pending transaction with Discovery nearing close, now is the right time to share with each of you that I will be departing this amazing company,” Jason Kilar wrote to staff Tuesday morning in a memo shared with The Hill. “There are many feelings one could have in a moment like this, but for me there are none bigger, or more lasting, than the feelings of gratitude and love that I have for this team, this company, and this mission.”
Kilar has been leading WarnerMedia through a tumultuous several months, including the resignation of previous CNN President Jeff Zucker and an investigation into the network’s former boss’s ethical practices and those of former top anchor Chris Cuomo.
Zucker was forced to resign after revealing he had been having a romantic relationship with another senior staffer at the company. A subsequent internal investigation found violations of CNN’s ethical guidelines by Zucker, Cuomo and the other staffer, Kilar announced to staff earlier this year.
After Zucker’s sudden resignation, Kilar was reportedly grilled by top CNN talent about the decision to oust him. Cuomo last month hit CNN with an arbitration claim seeking $125 million and has pressed WarnerMedia to release more details about its investigation into Zucker.
Discovery hired former “Late Night” executive producer and “Morning Joe” visionary Chris Licht as CNN’s new president last month.
The Department of Justice approved WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery in February, clearing a major hurdle for the deal that is expected to be finalized in May.
“I’ve never been more fulfilled professionally. I’ve never been happier professionally. This team – and what we’ve built together – are the reasons for that,” Kilar said in his message on Tuesday. “Leading this team has been the honor of my lifetime. My heart is so full, and I am beyond thankful to each of you.”
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