Chris Licht Named Executive Producer and Showrunner for ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’

Apr 13, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Press release from CBS, April 13, 2016:

Chris Licht, who has led CBS News’ award-winning morning broadcast to its best ratings in nearly three decades, has been named Executive Producer/Showrunner of THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT.

In his new role, Licht will oversee all aspects of production for THE LATE SHOW, CBS’s new 11:35 PM late night series. He will lead a broadcast, that in only eight months, has established a unique imprint on network late night television with a mix of news-making interviews and smart, topical comedy.

“I’m thrilled Chris is joining us at ‘The Late Show.’ I am so impressed by what he has done at ‘CBS This Morning,’” said Stephen Colbert. “And I trust someone has told him he doesn’t have to get up at 4am anymore.”

“In a very short time, Stephen’s comedic talents and interview skills have formed an exciting new franchise for CBS in late night,” said Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment.  “Chris’s vision and track record of leading signature shows in important dayparts is a great next step to build on this terrific foundation.”

“Everyone in the company has admired what Chris has done for CBS in the morning,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “The opportunity to bring him to ‘The Late Show is like adding an outstanding head coach to a great team.”

“You can’t work in this business without being in awe of Stephen Colbert and his talents,” said Licht. “The chance to work with Stephen and help build a valuable late night franchise, while continuing to grow at CBS, is truly an honor.  I can’t wait to get started.”

“At the same time, it’s a bittersweet moment,” continued Licht. “Our CBS News team has built something very unique in the morning that continues to grow in stature and ratings.  I will miss working with them all, but I leave with incredible pride for what we accomplished together, and I can’t wait to see where Ryan takes the show as it moves onward and upward to the next level of success.”

At the same time, it was announced that Ryan Kadro will succeed Licht as executive producer of CBS THIS MORNING.

Licht will transition to late night after serving as executive producer of CBS’s morning show and Vice President, Programming for CBS News since 2011. In addition to being the showrunner for THE LATE SHOW, CBS also announced Licht’s new role as Executive Vice President of Special Programming, CBS Corporation, consulting on various forms of content for divisions across the Company.

For the past 10 years, Licht has helped redefine morning television, first at MSNBC and most recently at CBS.  Under his direction, CBS THIS MORNING has delivered the Network’s largest audience in the time period in nearly three decades.  The critically praised broadcast has also grown its audience for 42 consecutive months and is the only network morning news show up this season in viewers and key demographics.

The broadcast, which launched in 2012, has earned a prestigious Peabody Award, two News & Documentary Emmys and one Daytime Emmy.

Previously at MSNBC, Licht was the co-creator and the original executive producer of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Before “Morning Joe,” Licht was a senior producer and then executive producer of Joe Scarborough’s “Scarborough Country,” also on MSNBC.  He began his career at KNBC in Los Angeles, working at various levels of the electronic news business, including producing the station’s 11:00 PM news.

THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT, a production of The Late Show Inc., airs weeknights (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Stephen Colbert, Chris Licht, Tom Purcell, Meredith Bennett and Jon Stewart are executive producers.

This season, THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT is the only 11:35 PM late night show to post year-to-year growth in viewers and key demos, up +40% in adults 18-49 (0.7/03 from 0.5/03), +33% in adults 18-34 (0.4/03 from 0.3/02), +29% in adults 25-54 (0.9/04 from 0.7/03) and +7% in viewers (2.94m from 2.75m).

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