Chris Licht’s Morning Show Send-Off

By Chris Ariens 

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Chris Licht has spent the last 9 years–almost to the day–producing morning news. First for MSNBC, when that network needed to find a replacement for Don Imus, whose TV simulcast had been canceled. Licht and Joe Scarborough came up with Morning Joe which launched May 9, 2007.

Today, Licht bid farewell to his second morning project, the reinvention of CBS This Morning. He’s heading to late night where he will be an ep and the showrunner for CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

After this morning’s show CBS News President David Rhodes, along with CBS News executives, and the staff of CBS This Morning, including incoming ep Ryan Kadro, gathered to toast Licht. In addition, Licht’s wife, Jenny Blanco Licht and their two sons were there, too.

Licht said for him this morning was for reflection. He thanked everyone on and off air for their hard work.

Rhodes joked that as a parting gift he was going to send Licht a copy of the Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis film “The King of Comedy.”

“We’ve done something great here,” said co-host Charlie Rose. “This has been a remarkable time in my life,” he added. Rose praised Licht as a great leader, who set up CTM for the future. “What he did in Ryan is the greatest gift a leader can do,” he said.

Gayle King said Licht “set the bar, you set the standard.”

“Chris, you’ve turned around a battleship and with Ryan we’re going to pick up steam,” added Norah O’Donnell.