CNN boss Chris Licht has described himself as ‘a machine’ for skipping meals after losing 50lbs in weight, with the help of early gym sessions and trainer Joe Maysonet.
The CEO had weighed 226 pounds in 2020 and after following a restrictive diet and fitness regime, he dropped down to 178 pounds in March of this year after attending the exclusive J Train gym in New York City.
According to a profile written by Atlantic staff writer Tim Alberta, Licht was worried he was losing control of his lifestyle and decided to go all in on his fitness regime.
After being questioned by Alberta on why he had decided to skip meals, Licht said: ‘I’m a f****** machine.’
The 51-year-old also hit back at his CNN CEO predecessor Jeff Zucker during his exercises, saying: ‘Zucker couldn’t do this s**t.’
Licht, pictured here in April of this year, followed a strict eating regime and fitness plan to lose 50lbs
Licht, pictured here in 2016, said that prior to his turn around in lifestyle he had weighed 226lbs
Joe Maysonet, pictured here, owns the J Train gym in Manhattan, which is known for its celebrity clientele
Licht’s gym, J Train, which is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, is owned by Joe Maysonet and is known for its celebrity clientele.
Licht had took over as chair and CEO of CNN Worldwide in February 2022, following the dismissal of his predecessor Jeff Zucker.
Zucker was ousted from the network after it emerged he was having an affair with a CNN executive.
He left the $6million-a-year post after admitting to employees that he violated the company’s Standards of Business Conduct when he failed to disclose a ‘consensual relationship’ with Allison Gollust, 49, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the network.
In his resignation announcement he acknowledged he was ‘wrong’ to not disclose the relationship when it began.
Zucker and Gollust lived in the same apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with their respective families until Zucker sold his in 2020, after he and his ex-wife Caryn Nathanson split.
Speculation at the time pointed the finger at former presenter Chris Cuomo for ratting on their relationship.
Cuomo’s attorneys are said to have told Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia – which is CNN’s parent company. He then informed AT&T boss John Stankey.
Cuomo was fired from the company for reportedly using his influence to help his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, navigate sexual assault allegations.
Zucker resigned after his relationship with fellow executive Allison Gollust (right in 2011) which was apparently an ‘open secret’ at the network
Former CNN president Jeff Zucker, 57, was seen in Manhattan, a rare sighting since his ousting over an secret affair with a fellow network executive
Former anchor Chris Cuomo was terminated by CNN ‘effective immediately’ after an internal investigation
In the Atlantic article, it was also revealed that fired CNN host Don Lemon and Licht had come to blows over a wardrobe
In early November, during a final rehearsal before the launch of CNN This Morning, Lemon baffled producers by arriving back on set from a break wearing a white jacket with fur collar over a turtleneck.
‘What the f*** is he wearing?’ blurted out Licht in the control room, according to a firsthand account from Atlantic staff writer Tim Alberta, who was there working on a lengthy profile of Licht.
A junior producer hesitantly relayed Licht’s concern through Lemon’s earpiece, drawing a ‘miffed’ look from the CNN host as he said: ‘Don, uhh, we’re not too crazy about the jacket in here.’
Alberta’s firsthand account details a number of incidents of friction between Licht and Lemon at the rehearsal, which was four days before the CNN morning show featuring Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow launched on November 8.
Lemon was fired from CNN in April following a 17-year stint there, in a move widely viewed as part of Licht’s campaign to shake the network’s liberal-leaning image and reinvent it as a down-the-middle, facts-first news organization.
The report also details behind-the-scenes tensions between Don Lemon (center) and CNN boss Chris Licht during a rehearsal for CNN This Morning last fall
Licht, 51, took over as chair and CEO of CNN Worldwide in February 2022, following the dismissal of his predecessor Jeff Zucker
A former executive producer for MSNBC’s Morning Joe and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Licht was tapped for the top job at CNN by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Under orders from Zaslav, Licht’s mission has been to steer CNN towards more objective news coverage and attempt to win over more conservative-leaning voters.
But the hallmark of that campaign, last month’s CNN town hall interview with Donald Trump, has brought withering backlash from some of the network’s own journalists.
They criticized the format, in which Trump attacked interviewer Collins as a ‘nasty person’ and repeated falsehoods about the election in front of an audience of cheering fans.
Veteran correspondent Christiane Amanpour publicly slammed the town hall in remarks to graduating students at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism.