CNN Cancels Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter and Staff to Depart Network

By A.J. Katz 

CNN has decided to cancel its long-running weekly media analysis show Reliable Sources. The show’s longtime host Brian Stelter and the Reliable Sources staff are all leaving the network in light of the cancellation.

NPR was on the news and CNN confirmed it via a statement: “CNN will end its Reliable Sources program on Sunday, August 21st. 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.”

In a statement to TVNewser, CNN original series and talent chief Amy Entelis said, “Stelter came to CNN from the New York Times as the nation’s top media reporter. He departs CNN an impeccable broadcaster. We are proud of what Brian and his team accomplished over the years—and we’re confident their impact and influence will long outlive the show.”


According to NPR, CNN CEO Chris Licht informed Stelter of the decision yesterday. Puck’s Dylan Byers added to that reporting, writing, “Stelter emerged from the meeting looking ashen and refused to talk about the conversation with anyone.”

Stelter has a robust background in the media reporting business. He founded a humble TV news blog named CableNewser (now TVNewser) in 2004 while attending Towson University. The talk of the TV news business, Stelter sold the site to Mediabistro two years later. Adweek went on to acquire Mediabistro’s editorial products, including TVNewser, in 2015.

After selling the blog to Mediabistro, Stelter became a media reporter for the New York Times, working with the late legendary Times media writer David Carr.

Jeff Zucker hired Stelter in 2013 to replace Howard Kurtz as host of CNN’s Sunday media affairs program Reliable Sources. Stelter has remained host for the past nine years. Reliable Sources is CNN’s longest-running program, having celebrated its 30th anniversary in March.

Stelter published a book in 2013 named Top of the Morning, which was about the morning TV news wars. Top of the Morning was the inspiration for Apple TV+’s first original drama The Morning Show. Stelter served as a consulting producer on the show.

In addition to hosting the weekly Reliable Sources, Stelter was the network’s chief media anchor and co-authors a popular daily media business newsletter with CNN’s Oliver Darcy.

For a time, he hosted Reliable Sources weekly on CNN, Reliable Sources Daily on the short-lived CNN+ and produced the nightly newsletter, all while continuing to break media stories for CNN Digital.

It remains to be seen where Stelter ends up next—and what replaces the show in the CNN Sunday 11 a.m. timeslot.