CNN personality Brian Stelter is leaving the network during an ongoing shakeup at the left-leaning cable news outlet.

“CNN will end its Reliable Sources program on Sunday, August 21st,” a network spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result Brian Stelter will leave the company. We appreciate his contributions to the network and wish him well as he embarks on new endeavors.”

Reliable Sources was the longest-running show on CNN prior to Thursday’s announcement. Stelter has anchored the program since 2013.

Stelter, 36, confirmed his exit in a statement and said he would provide more details when the final episode of his show airs on Sunday. CNN’s top boss Chris Licht reportedly informed him of the decision on Wednesday.

Brian Stelter
Brian Stelter is leaving CNN.
Getty Images for CNN

“I’m grateful for my nine years with CNN, proud of what we accomplished on Reliable Sources and so thankful for the viewers who tuned in every week for our examination of the media, truth and the stories that shape our world,” Stelter said.

“It was a rare privilege to lead a weekly show focused on the press at a time when it has never been more consequential. I’ll have more to say on Sunday,” he added.

The circumstances behind Stelter’s departure and the show’s cancellations were not immediately clear. In June, however, Axios reported that Licht was pushing for CNN to shift toward less partisan coverage and closely monitoring anchors to ensure they adhered to the change in tone – with those who were unable to do so potentially facing the ax.

The report identified Stelter and fellow CNN anchor Jim Acosta as among the personalities whose left-leaning viewpoints have drawn the ire of conservatives in recent years.

In May, Licht sent a memo to CNN staffers declaring the “too many people have lost trust in the news media.”

“I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics of journalism: fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning ‘group-think, and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary, while always being respectful of differing viewpoints.” Licht wrote.

“First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for the truth,” he added.

Meanwhile, Licht and WarnerBros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav are leading a sweeping overhaul at CNN that has included cost-cutting measures. Zaslav is aiming to shave $3 billion in expenses at WarnerBros. Discovery after the merger between the two companies closed earlier this year.

The cuts included the abrupt shutdown of $300 million CNN+ streaming service just one month after its launch. The costly initiative debuted with extensive promotion but failed to draw many subscribers.

Stelter’s exit is just the latest sign of turmoil at CNN. Licht took over the network’s top post after the resignation former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who was forced out after failing to properly disclose a relationship with a colleague.

Meanwhile, ex-CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was fired late last year following relevations that he helped prepare the defense of his older brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, from sexual harassment allegations. Cuomo and CNN are embroiled in an extensive legal battle over the firing.

Fellow CNN media correspondent Oliver Darcy described Stelter’s departure as the “end of an era.”

“It has been a hell of a ride working with @brianstelter and the @ReliableSources team over the last five years. Brian has been a first-class colleague, mentor, and friend. I cannot wait to see what he does next,” Darcy tweeted.

Alexandra Steigrad contributed reporting.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.





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