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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

Zucker to Staff: CNN is Now #2

This just in from CNN President Jeff Zucker to CNN staff — a feel-good memo in which he cites numbers showing that the network is on the up and up:

April 30, 2013

It’s a new day at CNN…and a busy one as well.

We have just announced that our new morning program will launch on June 10th, and will be called New Day. Hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, along with Michaela Pereira, we think the show will live up to its name in a couple of ways. So mark your calendars and start the countdown clock.

In addition, end of month ratings are now in and I wanted to share with you some highlights. For the month of April, CNN posted its best ratings since the November election, and we also topped MSNBC for the first time in more than a year. Year-to-date, CNN is now the #2 cable news network in America. In fact, not only did CNN top MSNBC, but HLN did as well. In addition, CNN digital is having its best month ever, in its history.

We value the fact that our audience comes to us for breaking news coverage and clearly they stayed with us throughout this news cycle. We also saw the successful launch of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown this month, and that was another big draw for our audience. As we continue to expand our offerings beyond breaking news, we are reminded of how important it is that CNN remains essential.

None of this happens without all of you. Thank you, and congratulations.

JEFF

Zucker’s Bold Morning Show Announcement: Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan

CNN President Jeff Zucker sent a quick note to staff this morning, filling them in on news of the new upcoming morning program that will replace Soledad O’Brien‘s “Starting Point.”

He wrote: “I wanted to be the first to share with you all a very exciting announcement we are about to make about our new morning show.  We welcomed Chris Cuomo to the CNN family last month, and we are now rounding out the team with our own Kate Bolduan, and welcoming Michaela Pereira from KTLA in Los Angeles.  There will be much more news about this exciting new show in the weeks to come, but today’s announcement gives us a very strong start.  Please join me in congratulating Chris and Kate, and welcoming Michaela to CNN.”

Per a press release, CNN announced today that Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan will co-host the network’s new morning show, which will premiere this spring. Michaela Pereira will join CNN from KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, as the program’s news anchor. News executive Jim Murphy will oversee the program as senior executive producer, and Matt Frucci will serve as executive producer. The show will be broadcast from CNN’s New York City studios.

“I’ve been looking forward to this announcement since I first joined CNN,” said Zucker.

 

Zucker Congratulates CNNers on Peabody Awards

CNN President Jeff Zucker gave a warm shout-out to the network this morning for winning a Peabody Award as well as the David Kaplan Award. He also complimented Chris Cuomo for his winning a Peabody for coverage of Hurricane Sandy while at ABC.

See the internal memo. Read more

CNN’s Tapper Already ‘Face of New CNN’

Wait. How did that happen so fast?

Mere hours had passed after the debut of CNN Jake Tapper’s The Lead, and already, Jeff Zucker was ecstatic. At a party for Tapper last night at the Sixth Engine, as reported by Politico‘s Patrick Gavin, CNN’s new President declared Tapper the face of the new CNN.

Zucker told the crowd, “I can tell you from the position that I was in, the prospect of Jake Tapper being the face of the new CNN had me more excited than anything, and I can tell you after today, I know it was absolutely the right thing. …I couldn’t hope for more than for Jake and his team to take CNN into our next place, into our next century.”

We can only imagine how Wolf and John (King) are feeling right now.

And wait…maybe Tapper gets that interview with WaPo‘s Bob Woodward after all. After saying this week that he didn’t understand how a reporter could receive a nasty call from the White House and then get on TV and complain about it, Woodward was among the guests at the party.

See the full story.

CNN’s Zucker to Meet With Hispanic Journalists

Earlier in the week, TheWrap‘s Alexander Kaufman reported that CNN President Jeff Zucker will meet with the National Assoc. of Hispanic Journalists on March 8 to discuss diversity issues at the network. On Monday, we reported that Zucker was scheduled to meet with the National Assoc. of Black Journalists to discuss similar issues.

Kaufman details the minorities at CNN as well as Fox News and MSNBC. He reported that Zucker has “agreed to” search for talent at NAHJ’s regional conferences, president Hugo Balta told TheWrap.

CNN’s Zucker to Meet With NABJ to Discuss Network’s State of Black Journalists

CNN President Jeff Zucker is scheduled to meet today in Atlanta with the leadership of the National Association of Black Journalists to discuss the state of black journalists at the network, FishbowlDC has learned.

Bob Butler, Vice President of Broadcast for NABJ, posted a note on the group’s Yahoo list serve last night saying that he, President Greg Lee and Executive Director Maurice Foster, will sit down with Zucker today.

The meeting comes on the heels of an announcement last week that morning show anchor and NABJ member Soledad O’Brien is transitioning to a new and less visible role at the network producing documentaries.

Speculation continues… Read more

‘Poop’ Gets Flung Around Twitter

A Carnival Cruise ship that was stuck out at sea, unable to port for several days finally made it to land Thursday. A large portion of the TV news coverage of the story centered on the ship’s sewage problems.

It was an event all but designed for Twitter.

“If only CNN had smell-o-vision technology. We could smell the raw sewerage and their coverage in one blended smell.” –Twitter user Tarnatiger to media expert Brad Phillips

“UH-OH. Carnival CEO vows to board ship to apologize to passengers. I’m afraid he may have some feces hurled at him before he gets to speak.” –Author Eric Metaxas… He also said: “FoxNews is now interviewing a passenger about the disgusting bathroom situation. FUN FACT: Her surname is Colon. Sorry.”

“Suggested CNN CHYRON while interviewing passengers: ‘Trail of Smears.’” --BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski

“Rather than continue complaining about some overflowing feces, perhaps Carnival Cruise passengers should just let it slide?” –New York Post‘s Robert George

A “poop deck” is the flat structure on a boat’s rear that serves as the roof of a cabin. Naturally, that became a thing.

“I’ll meet you on the poopdeck.” –NRO‘s Jonah Goldberg to one of his followers… He also said to NYP‘s George: “Now we all know what happens in the bowels of a cruise ship.”

“N. Korea explodes a nuke – CNN has no live coverage. The S.S. Poop Deck hits port – CNN is wall-to-wall.” –Chicago Sun-Times Managing Editor Craig Newman

The ship was dubbed “poop cruise.”

“If poop cruise ends with Gojira (yeah I spelt it that way jerks) ripping the ship open and eating the passengers, CNN will be vindicated.” –BuzzFeed D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton (Gojira is the Japanese name for Godzilla)… He later added: “Flipped to MSNBC. Mistake! Poop cruise survivor told harrowing tale of how state rooms are EXACTLY like the Superdome post-Katrina.”

“You don’t have to watch it, but I don’t know why people are baffled by CNN’s wall-to-wall Poop Cruise coverage. People love this stuff.” –Bloomberg View‘s Josh Barro

“It’s after 1 a.m. and CNN is still interviewing poop cruise passengers live. Possibly Jeff Zucker is publicly hazing his employees?” –Avid tweeter NYC South Paw

“1st world modern day trauma=stuck on the poop cruise.” –WSJ‘s Neil King

John King is Safe on CNN Survivor

CNN’s John King, long thought to be on the outs with the network after “John King USA” went belly up and personal issues marred internal relations, has had his contract renewed. In the game of CNN Survivor, under the new regime of President Jeff Zucker, King is safe.

Others  may not be as fortunate. Read more

CNN ‘Starting Point’ Staffers Brace Themselves

The announcement that CNN is totally revamping its morning show and scrapping Soledad O’Brien‘s “Starting Point” has sent shivers through her staff.

Insiders tell us Executive VP Ken Jautz and VP Bart Feder addressed the staff after the show went off the air today. Suffice it to say, the era of Jeff Zucker is underway.

In a nutshell, the execs said they have no answers for the staff and were unable to address most of their questions. Members of the staff were assured their jobs were safe, but one veteran of the changing show carousel at CNN says they would be naive to believe that.

“Every single one of these people should be preparing their resumes and trying to get out of that building as fast as possible,” a network insider told FishbowlDC, explaining that staffers are worried for their jobs. The prevailing feeling is that O’Brien, who previously worked with Zucker at NBC, will end up in another role.

For the month of January, “Starting Point” drew an average of 264,000 viewers. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” drew 468,000 and FNC’s “Fox & Friends” drew 1.07 million. “Morning Express” on HLN drew 218,000. The broadcast shows (CBS, ABC, NBC) drew millions more than any of the aforementioned programs. In other words, “Starting Point” is behind everyone except its sister network HLN, and HLN is getting close.

Another network insider with a vantage point to this morning’s meeting said it was hilarious to watch Jautz and Feder address the “Starting Point” staff, considering they were two of the main culprits who contributed to the potential demise and dismantling of the show.

From day one, “Starting Point” was in disarray, according to multiple sources aware of the drama going on behind the scenes of the show. It wasn’t supposed to debut in January, 2012, but the decision was made to rush it on the air to coincide with the Iowa caucus. From its launch the show was never fully staffed; all the promises of branding and promotion never materialized; and the constant executive in-fighting over what to do with the show angered its host and staff.

Former CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker, who announced his resignation Tuesday, loved the panel format because he desired the show to have the same buzz as MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But Jautz hated the panel, resulting in it being downsized from 7-9 a.m. to 7:30 to 9 a.m. And when Soledad was off, the panel was only on from 8-9 a.m.

Jautz also detested a single-anchor format. He preferred a two-anchor format, even going as far as focus-group testing Brooke Baldwin and John Berman when O’Brien was away.

So as Whitaker and Jautz waged a constant battle over who would control the destiny of CNN – a scenario set up by then-CNN President Jim Walton when he divided up the duties of Jon Klein when he was canned – “Early Start” and “Starting Point” were ground zero for their battle.

Read more

CNN: Which Shoe Will Drop Next?

On Tuesday we broke the news that CNN Contributors James Carville, Mary Matalin and RedState‘s Fox News-bound Erick Erickson were parting ways with the network under the direction of the new sheriff Jeff Zucker.

But who’s next?

We’re hearing that CNN may look at parting ways with Contributors Donna Brazile and Roland Martin, as they appear to have been slowly replaced by pundits who are known as their “black replacements”: civil rights activist Van Jones, NYT‘s Charles Blow and Democratic Strategist Cornell Belcher. CNN avoided using Brazile and Martin during its Iaugural coverage; ABC took advantage of  Brazile’s expertise in theirs.

Should the calls come down, Brazile likely wouldn’t be too shell-shocked. She’s already got a sweet gig with ABC. Martin, on the other hand, has his “Washington Watch” program on TV One and is a senior analyst for the Tom Joyner radio show. The call would allow him to do what his loud and loyal Twitter following has been clamoring for him to do, which is to be able to appear on MSNBC and Fox News, outlets forbidden to him while he has a contractual agreement with CNN. Martin’s contract with the network is up in early February.

 

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