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12 November 30th, 2012 Jeff Zucker Appointed CNN Worldwide President! Will Exit KATIE Shortly!

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After all the rumors and all the hoopla it was confirmed yesterday that Jeff Zucker has officially been appointed CNN Worldwide President.  Zucker replaces Jim Walton, who is retiring at the end of 2012.

The Time Warner-owned cable news network suffered from record low ratings in 2012, hitting a 21-year primetime ratings low in the spring. The original 24-hour cable news network fell into a distant third place behind rival MSNBC and cable news leader Fox News. Walton announced his resignation over the summer, saying the network needed new leadership and “new thinking.”

Though Zucker does not begin his post till the end of January, he decided to communicate with the staff directly after the network announcement on Thursday. Zucker is currently the executive producer of Katie Couric’s syndicated daytime talker, Katie, where he will remain through mid-January.

Katie Couric through a statement of her own related, “I’m very excited that Jeff has such a wonderful opportunity at CNN and equally excited for CNN. I’m also grateful that Jeff has been so instrumental in getting our show off to such a strong start and look forward to working with the fantastic staff we’ve assembled and building on the strong foundation we’ve created.”

According to Huffington Post today, Zucker immediately sent out a memo to his new staff writing:  “I don’t have all the answers. No one does. But I hope that we can challenge each other to think even more broadly about what CNN is and can be, and to enhance this truly special and powerful brand.”   Then, on a phone call with press on Thursday, Zucker said he planned to “remain true to the journalistic values” of CNN, but will also aim to “broaden the definition of what news is.” One way in which the network seems to be “broadening its definition of news” is through its decision to air a wider variety of reality and nonfiction programming.

So what do you think of the appointment of Zucker to head CNN?  Does this mean more doom for Katie? Or, could this change at the top actually help her talk show?  Weigh-in!

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  1. Iakovos says:

    Anyone remember Zucker’s tenure as NBC’s primetime guy? Network freefall!


  2. Jeffery says:

    Katie’s talk show is a bore. Wendy Williams is the true successor when it comes to Oprah’s old crown. Zucker won’t change CNN for the better. Eventually, FOX News will implode, and more people will get their real news from MSNBC than its competitors, because MSNBC is the only one in the bunch with visionary leadership at the moment.


    lipstickcat replied

    Are you kidding me? MSNBC is a joke! Anyone who takes it seriously is nuts!


  3. Dmitri says:

    Talk shows are boring and all the same. Katie will be cancelled soon, followed by The Spew.


  4. gloria says:

    At first glance I thought Katie was exiting, that it was over. I WISH. I’ll never get used to not having AMC at noon, OLTL at 1 & GH at 2 (central time)

    I told my mother today, remember when we had soaps from 11-3 every day on every network? Oh, for the days.


  5. Barbara from Atlanta says:

    During the time when Katie Couric’s contract with NBC was about to expire, I noticed several articles referencing Couric as a possible replacement for the aging Larry King. Seeing this mentioned several times by different writers, I wondered if Couric really wanted that job and was sparking these comments. Clearly, that didn’t happen as Piers Morgan replaced King and Couric became anchor of the CBS Evening News.

    Now that Couric is on a daytime talking that is doing okay but not great, Morgan seems to be floundering as King’s replacement with viewers turning him off, and Couric’s old pal Jeff Zucker taking over at CNN, I’d bet $$$ that, within 2 years, we’ll see Couric’s current show gone, Morgan off of CNN, and Couric taking over the King/Morgan timeslot on CNN.


  6. Michael says:

    hmmmm. Maybe ABC will grow some balls, realize they screwed up big time- and bring back the only genre in daytime that has longevity- our soaps. How bout it Disney folks? Admit you screwed up, blame it Brian Fronz, and bring back One Life and All My Kids. If they could somehow get GH’s producer/writer to helm all 3 soaps,they’d have double Katie’s anemic ratings.


    Robert replied

    I totally agree! Wake up ABC!!!


  7. bc says:

    Zucker should run cnn to the ground! That would be great for the planet. one less channel for shilling and editorializing and spreading lies. one less channel for anderson cooper!


  8. Nancy says:

    I don’t like talk shows. She’s going to flop. Then they can make General Hospital a 2 hour show.


  9. Jan says:

    I don’t give flip about exec’s they don’t care about the public when they ask for show’s to stay on. They are greedy and really only give a rat’s ass about their paychecks.
    Katie failed because she’s a greedy woman.


  10. RJ says:

    Wish him the best, but I was surprised when I first heard it because of the Conan/Leno fiasco, but as CNN is a news channel I realized that he was being hired based upon his past success with the Today show and his background with journalism/news (obviously, not because of his prime time entertainment capacity),so we shall see. The Katie show is disappointing mostly interviewing celebrities. She and the show could be much better. Need better topics and to improve the format. More interactive. Good point that others said maybe she will take over the Piers Morgan show on CNN some day. The problem with CNN now is that they recycle the same news stories over and over again. Each show has similar news topics. You can watch for an hour and that is enough. If they changed the news stories, diversified, spiced
    it up you could watch for hours, but now no need to. Zucker has to make that the focus to improve ratings – he has to improve content and be more creative with the format. Think out of the box. These shows have become- common, complacent, lackluster and boring. Off topic- but the Today show has become lame and lackluster as well- they need to spice it up.


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