CNN Appoints David Leavy as New Chief Operating Officer

By Mark Mwachiro 

Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief corporate affairs officer David C. Leavy is making an internal move and joining CNN’s executive leadership in the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Leavy will be responsible for the commercial, operational, and promotional units of CNN Worldwide.

CNN’s CEO and chairman Chris Licht announced the appointment to staff in an internal memo Thursday morning, saying, “David’s deep operational experience, institutional knowledge, and key industry relationships perfectly complements the strengths of our leadership team.”


He added, “He is a strategic, versatile, and dynamic executive who will work with myself and the senior leadership team to help transform our business as we get the full programming slate on the air, build out our digital future and grow the CNN brand around the world. Everyone who works with David has seen how his energy, work ethic, and collaborative style positively impacts an organization, and I can’t wait for him to join me and the CNN team.”

Appointing Leavy, who will report directly to Licht, to a business operations oversight role will allow Licht to focus more of his time on the network’s programming.

Leavy begins his new assignment on June 20 and will be based in Washington, D.C. He is familiar with being a COO, having served in that same capacity at Discovery, Inc., where he oversaw the launch of Discovery+ in 2021; the company’s public listing on the NASDAQ exchange in 2008; the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018, and Discovery and Eurosport’s agreement for rights to the Olympic Games across Europe.

Before joining Discovery, Leavy served as Chief Spokesman and Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council and Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Clinton White House. Leavy sits on the boards of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). He is a graduate of Colby College and the Salisbury School, where he now serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Leavy will continue to oversee public policy and social responsibility on behalf of Warner Bros. Discovery.