Chris Licht

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Chris Licht, Showrunner and Executive Producer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Christopher A. Licht is an American television newsman and producer. Since April 2016, he has been the showrunner and executive producer of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, as well as CBS's executive vice president of special programming.


Before joining the Late Show, Licht was the executive producer of CBS This Morning starting when the show launched in 2012, and vice president of programming at CBS News since 2011.[1] Before joining CBS, he worked at MSNBC. At MSNBC, he was the founding executive producer of Morning Joe, which he and host Joe Scarborough helped create prior to its launch in 2007.[2] While in charge of CBS This Morning, he was credited with making the show unexpectedly successful, giving CBS its most competitive place in the morning show race in almost 30 years. This success occurred partly because Licht allowed the show's co-hosts, and Norah O'Donnell, to talk freely about news events and about themselves.[3][4][5] A month after he was named executive producer and showrunner of the Late Show, the show saw its largest weekly audience since February 19 of that year.[6] As executive producer, he focused on management issues that host Stephen Colbert had previously handled, as well as shortening the opening credits and adding a comedy sketch immediately before them.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Licht graduated from Syracuse University in 1993.[7] On April 28, 2010, he was in a Cadillac Escalade on the way to a hotel in Washington, D.C. when he had a near-fatal cerebral hemorrhage. He later wrote a book about the resulting experience, What I Learned When I Almost Died: How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His BlackBerry and Started to Live His Life, which was published in 2011.[8] As of 2017, he lives in Manhattan with his wife, Jenny, and their two sons.[9]


While Licht was executive producer of CBS This Morning, the series won a Peabody Award and three Emmy Awards (one Daytime Emmy Award and two News & Documentary Emmy Awards).[10] As CBS This Morning's executive producer, he was co-nominated for three Emmy Awards in 2015: one for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast, one for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast, and one for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast.[11] The following year, the series won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast for a story on fraud at compounding pharmacies, which he co-executive produced with Steve Capus.[12]


  1. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (13 April 2016). "'CBS This Morning' producer Chris Licht is new show runner for Colbert's 'Late Show'". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Ariens, Chris (15 April 2016). "Chris Licht's Morning Show Send-Off". Adweek.
  3. ^ Koblin, John (14 April 2016). "CBS Hopes for a Stephen Colbert Bump From a New Leader at 'The Late Show'". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (13 April 2016). "'CBS This Morning' Exec Producer Tapped as Showrunner of 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert'". Variety.
  5. ^ a b Koblin, John (9 April 2017). "How Stephen Colbert Finally Found His Elusive Groove". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Pallotta, Frank (2016-05-12). "Stephen Colbert gets a bump after new producer takes the reins". CNN Money.
  7. ^ Cerqueiro, Pablo. "News Matters". Syracuse University Magazine. Syracuse University.
  8. ^ Grove, Lloyd (22 May 2011). "'Killer Producer' Chris Licht's New Life". The Daily Beast.
  9. ^ "About Chris".
  10. ^ "Chris Licht". CBS Press Express. CBS. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  11. ^ Flood, Brian (22 July 2015). "CBS Nominated for 44 News & Documentary Emmy Awards". Adweek. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  12. ^ Staff (22 September 2016). "'Frontline,' '60 Minutes' Dominate News and Documentary Emmy Awards (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved 25 April 2017.

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