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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

Afternoon Reading List 07.11.13.

Why MSNBC’s ratings suck — MSNBC has been the subject of news rather than just a broadcaster of it lately, due to its sharp decline in ratings in the first half of 2013. National Journal’s Matthew Cooper examines why the network has been grasping for air and ratings and why they keep slipping away. To start with, the second quarter of 2013 was full of breaking news — the Boston Marathon bombings, Cleveland kidnappings and the Oklahoma tornadoes. Known as “The Place for Politics,” MSNBC was struggling to keep up with CNN, known as the place for breaking news, and the network’s ratings dropped 10 percent.. And with Jeff Zucker at the helm, CNN looks like it will continue to draw more viewers. MSNBC’s evening line-up, according to industry insiders, has become too sophisticated for their audience, as well as completely lacking in diversity. On Fox News, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and Bill O’Reilly are, while all conservative, very different. Some right-wingers are saying the network is falling apart or collapsing, but Cooper suggests it’s just in a vulnerable place at the moment.

Why you should read it: MSNBC’s struggles this summer have been making headlines, and Cooper offers insight into why the network’s ratings have plummeted.

Another fishy list of journalists — A year after the infamous JournoList was shut down (hello Dave Weigel and Ezzy Klein!), a new secret discussion forum made up of political journalists came into being. No, they’re not conspiring to create talking points for their political parties. In fact, they’re completely bipartisan and never discuss politics. The common thread holding them together is their undying and unquenchable love for the band Phish. As TNR’s Marc Tracy reports, the forum began two years ago by Bloomberg TV’s Jake Beckman after he noticed references to the band by political journalist Phishheads on Twitter. Called “Journophish,” its now made up of about two dozen political journalists—and only journalists, no political operators, press secretaries, etc. The group chats about upcoming shows, trades tickets and shares songs and Phish trivia. Some of the list includes National Review’s Robert Costa, Politico’s Jake Sherman (of course), CNN’s Stephanie Gallman, social media folks at MSNBC and The Daily Beast, along with a few others. In addition to his own application to be included in “Journophish” Tracy manages to slip in a “This Town” reference.

Why you should read it: Phishheads are relentless in their efforts to find other Phishheads, and this is quite an entertaining look something that some political journalists probably spend way too much time doing.

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Zucker Expresses Pride for Emmy Nominations

CNN’s Jeff Zucker is out with another warm and fuzzy memo for employees. This time on account of the fact that the network has been nominated for eight news and documentary Emmy awards.

See the memo… Read more

Morning Reading List 06.17.13.

European Parliament wants to be Congress — A poll released by Gallup last week showed that only 10 percent of Americans approve of Congress, the lowest ever recorded. The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas, however, reports from Strasbourg, France that the legislative body is much more popular across the Atlantic. In fact, many in the European Parliament are looking to emulate the political and legislative system of America. Some have even called for the establishment of a controversial new political system, which is being called the “United States of Europe.” Europe apparently even has their own Ron Paul, as Pappas labels him. Daniel Hannan is a conservative member of the European Parliament who essentially doesn’t think the body, or any type of European integration, should exist. Secretary General of the European Parliament Klaus Welle said while most in the European Parliament do want to replicate Congress, one thing they don’t want to emulate is the approval rating.

CNN making itself more relevant — CNN is further broadening its lineup to focus on long form docs instead of politics, and, as Michael Wolff writes in his USA Today column, that’s a good thing. New shows from Morgan Spurlock (the Super Size Me guy) and Ridley Scott launched Sunday and continue the break from its traditional 24/7 news format. Americans, as Wolff says, have become apathetic with politics. Jeff Zucker, the new leader of CNN, is focused on human interest, and believes that will get people watching between the breaking news stories that Wolff says is the network’s “meat.” In between these stories of war, crime, weather and other general mayhem, the news audience drifts to their respective sides to watch talking heads on MSNBC or Fox News, leaving CNN grasping for viewers. With more action and more subjects, such as America’s fascination with marijuana (the subject of one of Spurlock’s Inside Man episodes), Zucker, and Wolff, believe it will draw a larger audience of people who are tired of hearing about politics and more interested in things that they can personally relate with, such as pot.

See our last pick… Read more

CNN’s Zucker Offers Feel-Good Memo

CNN’s Jeff Zucker issued yet another warm memo to employees today. This one concerning the awards the network reeled in last night at the Radio and TV Congressional Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

“There are a lot of ways we know our programming is making an impact,” he wrote. “These types of awards are an important one.”

Have a look. Read more

CNN’s Zucker Offers Pre-Weekend Praise

What makes CNN so special? Is it Wolf’s new glasses, that delicate moment when Anderson breaks into giggles while reading the Ridiculist or when he interviewed Cleveland kidnapping hero Charles Ramsey without cracking a smile as Ramsey winked, discussed cheeseburgers and called him “bro,” Tapper reeling off the “World Lead” or Piers losing his shit with the gun activists he invites on his show? Well, that’s a burning question that’s still evolving. Nonetheless, CNN’s Jeff Zucker offered his employees a warm note of appreciation and congratulations on the network’s 33rd anniversary.

Zucker isn’t sparing in his praise.

He writes, “It’s a tribute to every one of you that we are enjoying success on all of our platforms. We’ve launched some terrific programs. We have been awarded some of our industry’s highest accolades. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But this has been a good year for CNN thus far, and none of that happens without you.

See the full memo and watch the video… Read more

Cutter, Madden Join CNN

Jeff Zucker‘s CNN continues to evolve. Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter and Republican strategist Kevin Madden are joining the network as political commentators. The news was was announced today by CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president Sam Feist.

Cutter is a partner at Precision Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that launched earlier this month.  Madden, an alum of The Hill‘s 50 Most Beautiful People List, is the executive vice president of public affairs at JDA Frontline.

“I’ve worked with CNN for many years in the White House, on campaigns and throughout government,” said Cutter in a statement. “They are the best in the business, and I’m thrilled to be joining the CNN team.”

“This is such an exciting time in the national conversation about the direction of our country, with so many Americans looking to CNN for an informed perspective of today’s political debates,” said Madden, also in a statement. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience of working on national campaigns and Capitol Hill to CNN’s coverage of this national conversation.”

Kurtz Commended For Facing Fire

Howard Kurtz‘s apology, delivered on live national television Sunday, has been received as any dramatic apology would be. Some people are buying it. Some aren’t.

On his CNN media news program “Reliable Sources,” Kurtz offered his side of the story on what led to the mea culpa in the first place: Deadline pressure and his own lack of due diligence were to blame for his erroneous report last week that NBA player Jason Collins, who had just come out as gay, didn’t disclose that Collins his prior engagement to a woman. Collins had, in fact, been open about the engagement, mentioning it in a column for Sports Illustrated.

On Friday we questioned whether Kurtz would cover his own ass by covering his own ass on the show. He did. And for the occasion, CNN brought in NPR’s David Folkenflik and Politico‘s Dylan Byers to probe him.

There was plenty of in-house love for Kurtz. In a separate segment on the show, attorney Lisa Bloom was on to discuss coverage of the Jodi Arias case. Before offering her legal analysis, she said she would take a second to “go off script.” She praised Kurtz for “raising the bar” for journalistic accountability (while rattling off her own media resume).

“Kudos to Howard Kurtz,” tweeted Kurtz’s CNN colleague Piers Morgan. “He took his Jason Collins-clanger on the chin today like a Mike Tyson right hook.”

The compliments also poured in from elsewhere. FNC anchor Greta Van Susteren wrote on her Gretawire blog that everyone should “stop slapping Howie Kurtz.”

“Not one of us is perfect.  We all make mistakes,” Van Susteren wrote. At the start of the year, Kurtz had to offer a separate apology for wrongly attributing a quote to Van Susteren about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At TVNewser, our sister site, Gail Shister wrote after the apology that she hopes CNN head Jeff Zucker will continue to support Kurtz.

On the other side of the fence… Read more

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

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