Weight a minute!
After the Atlantic dropped a lengthy CNN expose on Friday about the network’s newsroom turmoil, media insiders are still buzzing over one less weighty detail — just how CEO Chris Licht achieved his dramatic weight loss.
The part of the catastrophic CNN article that’s getting the biggest laughs from Licht’s many foes, we hear, is that it puts a huge amount of focus on how the CEO achieved a 50-pound weight transformation — including following him in the gym and interviewing his trainer — all without mentioning that Licht is allegedly one of Ozempic’s big fans.
Ozempic is, of course, Hollywood’s controversial new favorite weight loss drug, which treats Type 2 diabetes and suppresses users’ appetite thanks to the ingredient semaglutide.
“He was the first person I ever heard the word Ozempic from — this is 2021,” said a source of Licht, 55.
We’re told the CNN exec touted the wonder drug even when he was still at CBS as show-runner on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
A rep for CNN and Licht did not get back to us.
Celebrities who have publicly said they’ve tried the weight-loss drug include Sharon Osbourne and Chelsea Handler, while Elon Musk has said on social media he has used Ozempic’s sister drug, Wegovy, for weight management.
Guessing which svelte stars are on Ozempic has become a favorite guessing game for celebrity watchers. Many have denied taking the drug.
A source also told the Daily Mail in a story published Monday, “I heard about Ozempic from Chris… When he was at Colbert he explained that he was a huge fan of it and he’d been using it to get his weight under control. This was back in 2021.”
Licht said in the Atlantic profile, “I’m a f–king machine,” regarding his strict diet and exercise regimen.
He even dissed his seemingly less physically fit predecessor, Jeff Zucker, in the piece.
The Daily Mail also reported that two senior staffers said they witnessed Licht “boasting” about using Ozempic.
One told the UK publication of Licht, “He told me he was on Ozempic. I was impressed that he was so open about it as he looks great.”
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But the same source said some staffers were “floored” to read the Atlantic piece because “he was leaving out the real secret to losing all his weight: Ozempic.”
The source said that the dig about Zucker’s fitness “was beyond hypocritical as he lost all of his weight on Ozempic.”
“This was just so offensive,” the insider added.
Licht’s reign at CNN since taking over for Zucker has been hit by internal turmoil, particularly over ousted anchor Don Lemon, who Licht moved to mornings.
But Licht told staffers on Monday morning that he is staying on as CEO.
Brian Stelter, the former anchor of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” tweeted on Monday morning that Licht addressed staffers in a regular editorial call and mentioned the Atlantic article.
Stelter reported via Twitter that Licht told his underlings: “I know these past few days have been very hard for this group. I fully recognize that this news cycle and my role in it overshadowed the incredible week of reporting that we just had, and distracted from the work of every single journalist in this org. And for that, I am sorry.”
He apparently added that, “As I read that article, I found myself thinking, CNN is not about me… I should not be in the news unless it’s taking arrows for you. Your work is what should be written about.”
And, “To those whose trust I’ve lost, I will fight like hell to win it back, because you deserve a leader who will be in the trenches, fighting to ensure CNN remains the world’s most trusted name in news.”