Brian Stelter, CNN’s top media reporter, is leaving the network because his Sunday show, “Reliable Sources,” was cancelled. This was one of the first big programming changes made by the company’s new leaders.
Since November 2013, Stelter has been the host of the long-running morning talk show, which first aired in 1993.
The show analyzes the news and has been shown on CNN in different ways.
A CNN spokesman said Thursday that the show’s last episode will air on Sunday.
The cancellation of “Reliable Sources,” a show that has been on the air for about 30 years, is a big change made by Chris Licht, the new chairman of CNN. He took over this spring after Jeff Zucker quit unexpectedly. Mr. Zucker left CNN because he didn’t tell anyone about a relationship he had with another top executive there.
CNN has stopped using the “breaking news” banners that used to announce big and small stories, and political news shows have tried to get more conservative voices on their shows. He hasn’t said much else in public about any bigger changes that might happen at the cable network.
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But leaders of CNN’s new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, have said that they want hosts to give more straight news reports and less of their own opinions. David Zaslav, the CEO of the company, has said that he wants a network for both Republicans and Democrats. In an interview with CNBC last year, John Malone, a powerful Warner Bros. Discovery shareholder, said that he wanted the network to “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with.”
Since Mr. Stelter had been critical of how former President Donald J. Trump treated the press, this new focus seemed to put him in danger. Nielsen data shows that, on average, more people watched Mr. Stelter’s show during that time slot than MSNBC, but fewer people watched it than Fox News.
In an email to The New York Times, Mr. Malone said that the cancellation of Mr. Stelter’s show had “nothing to do” with him. Mr. Malone said, “I want the “news” part of CNN to be more balanced, but I don’t run it or have much to do with it.”
The decision to cancel the show is part of what a CNN spokesman called the network’s “refreshed Sunday lineup” on Thursday. A number of new shows will be added to the schedule, such as “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” an interview show with the veteran Sunday show host.
We can expect more changes. Mr. Licht, a veteran producer who helped come up with MSNBC’s popular “Morning Joe” round table, told employees at a town hall meeting that he plans to be involved in the network’s morning programming. He has also said that he wants to change some of the evening shows, like the one at 9 p.m., where Chris Cuomo’s departure has left a big hole.
Ryan Kadro, who used to be the executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” was recently hired by Mr. Licht to help create new shows. A news site called Puck had already written about the hire.
Mr. Stelter’s work at the network was praised by the company.
The CNN spokesman said, “We appreciate what he did for the network and wish him well as he moves on to new things.”