- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
CNN names Jeff Zucker as new chief
Question of the Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Murdered teen texted boyfriend: 'OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world