Michael Bass, EVP of programming for CNN in the US, is to exit the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned news network at the end of the year.
His upcoming departure was announced in a memo to staff from CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht, who said that Bass had “demonstrated incredible leadership and perseverance” and had been “a steady hand during some of the most turbulent times this network has faced.”
During his time at CNN, Bass has held responsibility for in-house original documentaries, as well as special and sponsored content, and has helped to develop series including Roots and The Person Who Changed My Life.
Bass was also one of three execs, alongside Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz, promoted earlier this year to run the company on an interim basis until a permanent replacement for president Jeff Zucker was found in Licht.
In his memo, Licht confirmed that CNN is launching a search for someone to replace Bass.
Bass’s exit comes just weeks after Licht warned staff to expect “unsettling” change at CNN, including cuts to staff and budgets. Licht, whose moves to date include the closure of CNN’s streaming service CNN+, said at the time: “We have already begun working toward CNN’s future, implementing a strategy that puts our journalism first and grows our digital stronghold. There is a lot more to be done.”