What would become of CNN fate: First of all if you don’t know yet, Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, announced his resignation on Wednesday, effective immediately.
Why is Jeff Zucker leaving CNN?
In a memo, Zucker said, “I was questioned about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years, as part of the inquiry into Chris Cuomo’s employment at CNN. I saw that our relationship had changed in recent years. I was supposed to tell you about it when it started, but I didn’t. I was mistaken. As a result, I’m stepping down today.”
The message did not identify Zucker’s colleague, but the connection is with Allison Gollust, CNN’s top marketing officer. Gollust is still employed by CNN.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and working colleagues for over 20 years,” Gollust said in her own memo. During COVID, our relationship changed recently. We didn’t reveal it at the appropriate time, which I regret. I’m really proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the excellent job we do on a daily basis.
How important was Jeff Zucker to CNN?
Jeff Zucker was gathered with his CNN team on the ground in Philadelphia on the second day of the Democratic National Convention. He was meticulously involved with the detail of hourly coverage, from creating debates to leading the channel’s daily editorial meeting, unlike other cable news network executives. His management approach is akin to that of a fanatical professor in a political philosophy class, pushing his producers to come up with sharper story ideas.
While Zucker hasn’t exactly gone “off the air” since taking over as head of CNN Worldwide in 2013, the fiery, bespectacled 51-year-old CEO has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. Zucker tells jokes with a cutting sense of humour when he’s in person. However, as CNN’s president, he keeps his own views on international affairs private–he doesn’t even tweet. “It’s probably to keep myself safe,” Zucker explains. “If I were on Twitter, I’d definitely be in a lot of trouble.”
CNN’s parent company Turner Broadcasting’s CEO, John Martin, praised Zucker for turning the network around. “In terms of sales and profitability, CNN is likely to have a record year,” he said. Turner has been able to expand CNN’s employees and resources as a result of its success. Martin, unlike Zucker, is less hesitant to comment on whether CNN will overtake Fox News. He argued, “It’s a question of when, not if.”
CNN’s recovery storey has two parts: one for its leader and one for its employees. Many employees refer to CNN as having two separate epochs: pre- and post-Zucker. They claim that before, morale was poor, but today everyone is energised. “At CNN, he’s transformed the culture,” says anchor Erin Burnett. “Everyone believes they have a chance to win.” Not least among them is Zucker. The erstwhile wunderkind producer who gave “Today” its edge couldn’t save NBC’s primetime schedule when Comcast booted him from his executive suite after acquiring NBCUniversal. His much-touted relocation of Jay Leno to 10 p.m. and embracing of reality TV over scripted programmes backfired spectacularly, earning him the wrath of talent and their agents.
What would become of CNN fate?
Raw – a quick response based on what comes to mind initially.
When he left the Today Show, the same thing happened. When he left NBC’s Executive Suite, for example.
The point is that the departure of someone so closely associated with a piece of our culture in any form, whether it’s news/entertainment like TODAY, the entire entertainment programming for NBC and its cable channels, or programming for CNN’s monster… will always have a +/- for him and the brand he’s leaving.
BUT – Jeff Zucker survived both the Today Show and NBC as a whole, and I’m confident CNN will as well.
Losing legends like him will impact in most of the company’s future. Anyways hope CNN will remain a real news channel even after losing Jeff Zucker.
Who will be the new president of CNN after Jeff Zucker?
Ben Sherwood has worked in television news for the most of his career.
His climb from executive producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” to ABC News President and, until recently, president of Disney-ABC Television is a success storey of the modern television news period, similar to his old buddy Jeff Zucker’s rise at NBCUniversal and later CNN.
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