CNN president Chris Licht has reportedly decided not to allow employees to drink during the network’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.
Licht, who took over CNN in May 2022, will be in the network’s control room on New Year’s Eve. He has been trying to rebrand CNN as a serious news channel, and part of that effort includes mandating sobriety among the network’s employees during the New Year’s Eve telecast.
“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,” according to Semafor’s Max Tani.
Licht then reportedly walked back the rule.
“Chris made an offhand remark in a town hall about drinking during the NYE program,” an aide claimed. “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.”
Apparently, not everyone plans on letting Licht spoil their New Year’s Eve fun. Following the announcement, Andy Cohen said on his show that because the correspondents will not be drinking this year, he “will be partying even harder on their behalf.”
Licht’s decision comes after CNN was reportedly embarrassed by their employees’ behavior last year.
The network was previously roasted for broadcasting “raunchy” tweets posted by pranksters with names such as “Ben Dover” and “Dixie Normus” live on air during the New Year’s Eve coverage.
"Ben Dover" and "Dixie Normus" piped up with tweets that scrolled along the bottom of CNN's screen New Year's Eve. https://t.co/7D2JfUwVSz
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 2, 2022
The broadcast was hosted by anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo executive Andy Cohen, who appeared to be drunk. Both Cooper and Cohen were even tossing back tequila shots live on air. Cooper was also heard loudly moaning during their drunken antics.
Cohen’s drunken rant about outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) during the New Year’s Eve coverage went viral on social media, especially because Cooper was begging him to stop throughout his tirade.
“The only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is what a horrible mayor he has been. So, sayonara, sucker!” Cohen said during his hilarious rant.
good god this man is full of rage pic.twitter.com/SaNgNgwLY5
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 1, 2022