Chris Licht, the president of CNN, reportedly won’t permit staff to consume alcohol while the network’s New Year’s Eve broadcast is being broadcast. On New Year’s Eve, Licht, in CNN’s control room, will attempt to reposition the network as a serious news source.
According to Semafor’s Max Tani, one of the changes under Licht’s guidance will be sobriety among CNN staff members during the New Year’s Eve broadcast: Anderson Cooper expressed his concern to network leadership over the perception that only the two white hosts are allowed to drink after Licht announced in an internal meeting that Cooper and Cohen would be allowed to consume alcohol this year. Licht then recanted that rule.
An aide said that Licht casually mentioned drinking during the NYE program in a town hall. Shortly after, he sought Anderson to explain that his remarks were intended as a joke and that he preferred no one drink while on the air. Not everyone intends to let the new administration ruin the fun.
\After the news was revealed, Andy Cohen said on his show that he would “be partying even harder on their behalf” because the correspondents would not be drinking this year. The modifications to the primetime broadcast follow CNN’s criticism for airing “raunchy” tweets posted by pranksters: Anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo executive Andy Cohen, who appeared to be intoxicated, hosted the broadcast.
The two could be seen on live television downing tequila shots. During the inebriated scene, Cooper was also audibly moaning loudly. The antics of Cohen and Cooper on “New Year’s Eve Live” have not gone unnoticed by the media.
Last year, while on air, Cohen had several outbursts about Ryan Seacrest, the host of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” and Bill de Blasio, the former mayor of New York City. Cohen referred to the ABC broadcast that was being filmed next to CNN-“Bunch of smoke coming from Ryan Seacrest’s group of losers that are performing behind us.” “I mean with all due—if you’ve been watching ABC tonight, you’ve seen nothing; I’m sorry.”
He tweeted the next day that he “was a bit overserved.”