Chris Licht joined THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT as executive producer and showrunner after five years at CBS News, most recently as vice president of programming for CBS News and the executive producer of CBS’ critically praised morning news program, CBS THIS MORNING. In addition to being executive producer and showrunner for THE LATE SHOW, Licht serves as Executive Vice President of Special Programming, CBS Corporation, consulting on various forms of content for divisions across the Company.
For the second year in a row, THE LATE SHOW is nominated for three Emmys: for Outstanding Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series. In addition to last year’s Emmy nominations for THE LATE SHOW, the staff received three nominations for the November 2016 live election night special hosted by Colbert on SHOWTIME. Licht served as a producer on the “69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards,” hosted by Stephen Colbert in September 2017, on the Network.
Under Licht’s guidance, CBS THIS MORNING became the Network’s most successful morning newscast in more than two decades, generating CBS’ largest audience in the time period in 23 years during the fourth quarter of 2015. During Licht’s tenure as executive producer, CBS THIS MORNING earned a prestigious Peabody Award, two News and Documentary Emmys and one Daytime Emmy. Also, the broadcast and Licht were honored with two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards, the first as part of CBS News’ division-wide coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and the second for a series of reports on Europe’s migrant crisis. In addition, Licht serves as an executive producer on the animated SHOWTIME series OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT, which premiered in February 2018.
Licht joined CBS News from MSNBC with a wealth of experience in television news. He was the co-creator and original executive producer of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and was at the helm as the show garnered critical acclaim for its interviews with newsmakers and perspective on the top news stories. In addition to covering nearly every important news event in recent history, Licht led the show’s comprehensive on-location coverage of the 2008 election. Before “Morning Joe,” Licht was a senior producer and then executive producer of Joe Scarborough’s “Scarborough Country” on MSNBC.
Licht began his career at KNBC in Los Angeles, distinguishing himself early on during the O.J. Simpson trial. Over the next seven years at KNBC, he moved up to special projects producer, coordinated the station’s Olympics coverage, and then produced the “Channel 4 News at 11.” In 2001 NBC moved Licht to the San Francisco Bay Area where he played an integral role on the transition team during the network’s purchase of KNTV. Following the transition, he remained with the station as executive producer.
Licht’s first book, What I Learned When I Almost Died, was published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS, in May 2011.
In June 2018, he was elected to serve on the board of representatives for the Producers Guild of America East.
Licht graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and political science. He lives in New York with his wife and their two sons. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisLicht.