Chris Licht visited a posh New York City restaurant on Thursday night, posing for a photo with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the heels of being fired as CEO of CNN.
Licht was shown the door by CNN earlier this week after a turbulent year on the job, but the now-former CEO didn’t seem particularly bothered in a photo posted on Instagram. Licht and his CNN chief of staff Devan Cayea, who also left the network, were at the Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar in Midtown Manhattan where they posted a photo with Pelosi.
It’s unclear if Licht dined with Pelosi, or simply ran into the former House Speaker at the restaurant. Licht was bounced in part because he alienated CNN staffers with his criticism of its past coverage, suggesting it was too partisan.
Cayea and Licht both shared the photo on their private Instagram accounts, and Puck reporter Dylan Byers shared a screen grab on Twitter.
The tony Polo Bar features a $140 caviar appetizer, $90 bone-in ribeye, $80 dover sole and the famed Ralph’s corned beef sandwich that only sets diners back $34.
David Marcus penned a Fox News Digital opinion piece this week that put a spotlight on Licht’s efforts to pull in a more diverse audience falling flat with staffers.
“The lesson here is clear: no real conservative voices, the kind that actually reflect the views of the vast majority of Americans on the right, will be tolerated by the crybaby lefty loons in the CNN newsroom,” Marcus wrote.
“He got cancel cultured because he wanted to level the ideological playing field,” a CNN insider told Fox News Digital, while another said his departure was “inevitable.”
Some of Licht’s wounds were also self-inflicted, as staffers groaned that his office wasn’t anywhere near CNN’s newsroom, he was accused of coming off as disinterested in engaging with employees, and he trashed how the network’s journalists covered COVID prior to his arrival. The town hall CNN held with former President Trump at Licht’s direction last month also infuriated many at the network. The final straw came with an Atlantic profile of Licht that laid bare many of the issues he was having with the newsroom and his efforts to transform it.
Licht, who helped create MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and more recently served as executive producer of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” released a statement on Wednesday evening.
“This was an exciting but incredibly challenging assignment and I learned a lot over the past 13 months. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a successful, fulfilling career and I look forward to my next chapter. I wish the team at CNN the very best, always,” he said.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and David Rutz contributed to this report.