Under Its New Head, Chris Licht, CNN Will Squash Alcohol Use by Staff on Its Live New Year’s Eve Broadcast


    CNN’s president, Chris Licht, will reportedly not allow employees to drink alcohol during the network's broadcast of its New Year's Eve celebration.

    Licht, who will be in CNN's control room on New Year's Eve, is working to brand the channel as a serious news channel. According to Semafor's Max Tani, one of the major changes that Licht is directing will be a focus on sobriety among CNN's staff throughout the New Year's Eve broadcast:

    “This year, Licht said in one internal meeting that Cooper and Cohen will be permitted to imbibe, prompting Cooper to tell network leadership he’s concerned at the perception that only the two white hosts are permitted to drink.

    “Licht then walked that rule back: ‘Chris made an offhand remark in a town hall about drinking during the NYE program,’ an aide said. ‘Shortly after, he proactively reached out to Anderson to clarify that his comments were meant as a joke and that he preferred no drinking on air at all.’

    “Not everyone is planning on letting the new regime spoil the fun. On his show after the news was announced, Andy Cohen said that since the correspondents will not be drinking this year, he ‘will be partying even harder on their behalf.’“

    The changes to the primetime program follow CNN’s being accused of displaying live “raunchy” behavior and tweets posted by pranksters. For example, one show included anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo executive Andy Cohen, who appeared to be drunk. The two were spotted in live broadcasts throwing back shots of tequila. Cooper was also heard moaning throughout one display of drunkenness.


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