CNN Programming Chief Michael Bass to Exit at the End of the Year

The network stalwart’s departure was announced Monday with CEO Chris Licht already searching for a replacement

Michael Bass CNN Programming Chief
Courtesy CNN

Michael Bass, CNN’s longtime programming chief known for his work through former president Donald Trump’s political career, will exit the network at the end of this year, TheWrap has confirmed.

CEO Chris Licht announced the news Monday morning, saying “Michael has demonstrated incredible leadership and perseverance” in his nearly decade-long tenure at CNN.

Bass was part of a group of executives tapped to help lead the network on an interim basis after Jeff Zucker left earlier this year. In July, Bass was officially named to Licht’s team, along with CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president for talent and content development Amy Entelis and CNN U.S.’ executive vice president Ken Jautz.

“He has been a steady hand during some of the most turbulent times this network has faced,” Licht wrote in a memo to staff, “Along with a brilliant and courageous team, Michael kept CNN live and on air as COVID-19 shut the world down … And as a part of the “Trio,” Michael, Amy, and Ken guided CNN through a difficult transition period while simultaneously overseeing our exceptional coverage of the war in Ukraine.”

During his tenure, Bass helped create a number of new shows and legacy programs. He also oversaw coverage of elections, town halls and debates, and he created CNN’s Key Race Alerts. In addition, he developed special series including “Roots,” “The Person Who Changed My Life,” “Champions for Change” and the “Beyond the Call of Duty” franchise.

“I wish Michael well in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions, guidance, and friendship,” the memo concluded.

Licht is already in search of Bass’s successor and will announce an interim plan in the coming days. A source familiar with the matter told TheWrap that Bass’s departure was a personal decision and there are no additional executive changes being made to the leadership team at this time.