CNN Chief Doesn’t View Fox News, MSNBC as His Rivals: ‘My Competition Is Frankly … HGTV and Netflix’

The interview comes after Chris Licht announced major layoffs at the news channel

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During an appearance on “On With Kara Swisher,” CNN’s chairman and CEO Chris Licht opened about who he sees as competition for the cable news channel, and it isn’t Fox News. 

“I’m not looking at it through trying to appeal to ‘lean into the left’ or ‘try to appeal to more people on the right.’ I think that that’s not a good business model because you’re fighting for a bigger slice of a shrinking pie,” said Licht on the newest episode of Swisher’s Vox Media-based podcast, which interviews influential names in politics, the entertainment Industry and more.

Licht, who upon taking the reins set a goal to shift to less-partisan news production at the network, said fellow channel news competitors aren’t on his radar. 

“The competition for me in cable is not MSNBC or Fox. Hopefully, what we’re doing is so different and unique that we are attracting people who perhaps have found cable news to be irrelevant in their lives,” Licht said. 

“My competition is frankly Kathleen’s HGTV and Netflix,” Licht continued, referring to Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer of U.S. Networks Group at Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.

Some of the networks Finch oversees includes, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, OWN and more.

“I’m fighting for people in down news times. I’m fighting for people’s discretionary attention. And I don’t believe that the way to the future is to try to steal people from Fox,” Licht said.

Licht moved into his current position as chairman and CEO in February of this year. He previously served as EVP of special programming at CBS, and executive producer and showrunner for The “Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”