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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

Bad News for CNN Employees: Jeff Zucker Just ‘Went There’

CNN Upfront 2014

So, you think the economy has rebounded and your savings account can begin its weatherstripping for the colder days. Vacations are being planned, allowances are no longer declined and date nights are back in full swing.

Only one problem: You work at CNN.

In a corporate-wide memo recently sent to all Turner Broadcasting employees, CNN Chief Jeff Zucker and Turner CEO John Martin said that, as part of the company’s “Turner 2020″ plan, the company will unveil a new corporate structure “in the next two months.”

This is CNN.

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CNN Focuses on Gap between News and Life

There was a day when a 24-hours news network sounded like a brilliant idea. We live in a complex world full of complicated events that highlight the worst and best of humanity.

From violent wars and corrupt politicians to heroic deeds and acts of selflessness, how could a network not fill its programming with constant and original news updates?

However, with the technology that allowed networks to report 24-7 from every corner of the world, we learned something very important about the public: from cuddly kittens to sickening carnage, we’ll watch the same images over and over and over and over and over again. Who needs a news cycle when you can just hit replay again and again?

The public is strongly addicted to emotional footage, and after September 11, coupling dramatic scenes and outlandish scenarios with charged commentary and paranoid speculation fractured viewers into different but loyal viewing demographics. We all know the stereotypes about the people who watch Fox News and the people who watch MSNBC, as stalwart news anchors like Brian Williams continue to scratch their heads.

Just as times were changing back then, times are changing now, and Jeff Zucker, CEO of CNN, fully understands this. Throughout the past decade the public sensibility has evolved and viewers began migrating from the constant barrage of loud news and bombastic analysis to shows that focused on the more pleasant aspects of life such as food, travel, health, history, science and reasonable opinions on real, everyday challenges.

Though yesterday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon demonstrated there will always be senseless violence and inexplicable trauma in our world, the public appears to be internalizing the frailty of life and living by the mantra we all—at least in theory—agreed to after September 11: the best revenge is living well. And now CNN’s network is beginning to reflect that with more accessible programming. Read more

Gollust and Pilot to Leave NBC After Acquisition

Comcast has announced the leadership team that will be in place once  its acquisition of NBC Universal is complete. As we’ve reported previously, comms and PR chief Allison Gollust will be leaving the company and Adam Miller, former president of Abernathy MacGregor, will join Comcast. NBC’s sales and marketing head Mike Pilot will also be leaving the company. Pilot and Gollust will step down at the close of the transaction.

Among the other changes, CEO Jeff Zucker will depart the company and Lauren Zalaznick will become chairman, NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media. Bravo, Oxygen, iVillage, Daily Candy, the Integrated Strategic Marketing Group, and other properties will report to her. The Integrated Strategic Marketing Group includes Green is Universal, Women at NBC Universal, and other initiatives.

The complete memo is available on TVNewser.

NBC Universal’s Allison Gollust Leaving Company

Allison Gollust, NBC Universal’s EVP of corporate communications, announced Friday that she was leaving the company, according to Variety.

While she has been VP of corporate communications since 2009, her exit “isn’t a surprise,” according to the article, as she has been chief spokesperson for CEO Jeff Zucker, who the article says will “also depart in the coming weeks.”

Gollust joined NBC in 1998 as a senior publicist at the Today show while Zucker was EP. She previously served as head of communications for the NBC News division. Gollust replaced Cory Shields who moved over to the newly created EVP of global policy strategies and alliances, addressing piracy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: ‘PR Has Always Been Two-Way’

Left to right: Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media; Debora Spar, President, Barnard College; Tina Brown, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast; Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBCU Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks; Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills; Kim Brink, Executive Director, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Cadillac; Donna Speciale, President of Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker (who just confirmed that he will be leaving the company) kicked off this morning’s Women@NBCU annual Power of the Purse breakfast with a brief chat about the purchasing power of women and the increased effort marketers should be making to reach them.

“The power of the purse is so self-evident,” she said. However, to get women to purchase your products, you need to communicate with them.

“PR has always been two-way,” she continued. All relationships are doomed “when one side doesn’t feel they’re being communicated with.”

The conversation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Pat Mitchell, president of the Paley Center for Media.  She was joined on stage by a panel that included Tina Brown, founder and editor-in-chief at The Daily BeastDonna Speciale, president of investment and activation at Mediavest; and Mark Addicks, CMO of General Mills. Additional comments and video after the jump. Read more

Media News Friday Frenzy

Today started with the massive media news about the departures of CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and the news keeps coming.  PRNewser colleagues at TVNewser have been following the developments closely. Click here for the latest.

Business Insider has also just received a statement from Newsweek, which was expected to layoff additional staff members today.

A small percentage of Newsweek’s staff was told today that they will not be offered jobs when Sidney Harman assumes control on October 1, 2010. The majority of Newsweek’s employees were asked to remain in their jobs. The Washington Post Company will provide generous severance packages to those who are not being retained.

The names of those cut have been provided. Dan Gross and Jon Meachum are just a couple of the journalists who left the publication on their own in recent weeks.

For media relations pros, it’s an ongoing battle to keep track of which reporters are covering what where. (Mediabistro’s Revolving Door newsletter can help with that as well.)

NBC Head Zucker’s First Interviews To Address Late Night Fiasco: NY Times and Charlie Rose

NBC Universal president & CEO Jeff Zucker is beginning to speak, after weeks of damaging media coverage and public battling between the network’s two main late night talents, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.

His first two interviews: The New York Times and Charlie Rose.

“Obviously, in hindsight, you know, perfect information leads you to that conclusion — that it was a mistake…And I think it’s the sign of a leader to step up and say, you know, when something’s not working, to have the guts to reverse it,” Zucker told Rose.

“At the end of the day Jay at 10 o’clock didn’t work. And I take responsibility for that,” he said to the TimesTim Arango.

All of this comes as a deal with O’Brien to leave the network is said to be imminent.

Several PR executives PRNewser has spoken with said Zucker would have to take the blame in order for the network to “move on,” however some thought the public statements may have come even sooner than they did.

NBC Needs To Solidify New Plans Fast After Late-Night Shake Up

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After just several days of rumors and speculation, NBC confirmed Sunday a change to the network’s late-night line up. Now, the question is, will all parties involved except it?

The changes — moving Jay Leno back to late-night at 11:35 p.m. and pushing Conan O’Brien back to 12:05 a.m. — have been accepted by Leno, but not yet by O’Brien who could be considering a move to another network or a legal battle with NBC for breach of contract. The leak period on this news was relatively short, as the first reports of a line-up change emerged this past Thursday.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter now, as the focus will be on the mixed messages the line-up changes reveal, less than one year after Leno was heralded as the new face of prime-time for NBC.

“You have the combination of expired content, in terms of current public taste, appearing at the wrong time on a medium that has lost its salience, by whatever standards you use,” Paul Levinson, professor of communication at Fordham University told the Times.

On “The Tonight Show” brand, the TimesDavid Carr said, “Not since New Coke has a storied brand been so thoroughly maimed.” Harsh? Yes, but NBC needed to make a move after intense pressure from affiliate stations, whose profits are down more than 22% in 2009 in part after losing “lead in” audiences to their nightly news due to Leno’s slumping ratings.

Allison Gollust, NBC’s executive vice president of corporate communications, declined to make NBC Jeff Zucker available for interviews thus far. Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, announced the plans at an industry event yesterday in California.

RELATED: NBC PR Swings Into Gear On Leno Show Cancellation Rumors

Nikke Finke on New Yorker Profile: Story “Manipulated By Hollywood”

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Is Nikke Finke Hollywood’s most powerful scribe? Certainly many in the industry seem to think so, and she has been the center of feature stories in both The New York Times, and now The New Yorker, whose sub-head today reads: “Why Hollywood fears Nikki Finke.”

Her Deadline Hollywood Daily blog has become Hollywood’s “most dreaded news source,” as executives fear being labeled “one of the most kiss-ass incompetents to run an entertainment company,” as Finke once described NBC Universal C.E.O. and president Jeff Zucker.

It’s not surprising that there was a lot of PR influence in her New Yorker feature. Says Finke:

…I wasn’t the only one able to knock out a lot of negative stuff in the article without even one lawyer letter, email, or phone call. I witnessed how The New Yorker really bent over for Hollywood. NYC power publicist Steven Rubenstein succeeded in deleting every reference to Paramount’s Brad Grey. Warner Bros and Universal and DreamWorks and William Morris/Endeavor and Summit Entertainment execs and flacks and consultants also had their way with the mag. (They were even laughing about it. When I asked one PR person what it took to convince Tad to take out whole portions of the article, the response was, “I swallowed.”)

While Finke’s response may be entertaining, our question is: What story, especially a feature story of this caliber isn’t manipulated in some way? Read the full New Yorker profile here, and Finke’s response here.