Advertisement
 
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Amsterdam, NY ,

 

Advertisement

CNN names Jeff Zucker as new chief

Friday, November 30, 2012 - Updated: 6:50 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Incoming CNN President Jeff Zucker said Thursday that he intends to make the network more "vibrant and exciting" while broadening the programming on television's original but struggling cable news outlet.

The former NBC Universal chief's long-rumored selection as CNN president was announced Thursday. He'll start in January and report to Phil Kent, who runs all the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

Zucker will lead a large and profitable news organization with 23 separate businesses worldwide that has come to be defined by problems at the flagship U.S. network, particularly in prime time.

CNN has never been able to solve the conundrum of how to keep viewers on quiet news days, while Fox News Channel and MSNBC have passed it by with combative programming that appeals to political partisans.

"The key is that CNN remain true to its ideals of great journalism but at the same time be vibrant and exciting," Zucker said. "Just because you're not partisan doesn't mean you can't be exciting."

He said it was premature to offer specifics. Although he said it was his goal to beat Fox and MSNBC in the ratings, it was important to note that he sees the television competition more broadly.

"News is not just about politics and war," he said.

CNN this summer said it was developing a program featuring celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, and Zucker cited it as some of the new thinking he's hoping to see.

Kent said it was essential for CNN to build a base of hardcore fans who will stick with the network no matter the news of the day.

Both Kent and Zucker said CNN has no plans to retreat from its stance of unbiased reporting.

"CNN does not have an identity problem," Kent said. "CNN knows what it is and what its identity is. If anything, CNN has an execution problem."

During this election year, CNN is averaging 763,000 viewers in prime time on weekdays, up 2 percent from 2011, according to the Nielsen company. Fox is averaging 2.5 million, up 13 percent from last year, and MSNBC is at 1.1 million, a 22 percent increase.

Anderson Cooper is CNN's best-known news anchor, with a news show that airs at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. Piers Morgan hosts a nightly talk show modeled after Larry King's. Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Candy Crowley, Soledad O'Brien and Sanjay Gupta are among the network's most popular personalities.

Kent said he was seeking someone with news and television management experience who could be a magnet for talent. Zucker shot to fame in TV as executive producer of the "Today" show at the start of its morning dynasty in the 1990s. He was less successful as NBC's entertainment president. As chief of NBC Universal, he couldn't turn the flagship company around but oversaw a profitable and growing stable of cable networks.

Zucker replaces Jim Walton, who announced this summer that he was leaving.

Zucker was behind the ill-fated move of Conan O'Brien to the "Tonight" show, with Jay Leno's brief and disastrous stay in prime time. But an unorthodox Zucker personnel decision -- recruiting Meredith Vieira to replace Katie Couric on "Today" -- was a big winner.

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
Subscribe to The Recorder

 

The Recorder Sports Schedule

Most Popular

    Area high school sports calendar
    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Dr. Tom Catena named finalist for humanitarian award
    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Mary Katherine Szasz
    Monday, April 25, 2016

    McGillin tosses two-hitter in Amsterdam's 7-0 victory
    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    State unable to determine city's fiscal stress score
    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Corrections officer pleads guilty to assault
    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Town board moves toward banning binary explosives
    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Ground broken on East End park
    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    Legislators drop salary raises for current term
    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Conservation group helps with Schoharie Crossing site cleanup
    Thursday, April 28, 2016

Advertisement

Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook