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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

‘Pimped Out’ Returns. New Clinton Book Details Old Cable News Firestorm

shuster“Clinton Inc.,” another new book about the former, and perhaps future, White House occupants dredges up a cable news moment that regular readers of this site will recall.

In February 2008, as the Democratic primary for president was heating up, then-MSNBC anchor David Shuster waded into the debate about the Clinton family dynamic and how it plays out on the campaign trail. “Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?,” Shuster asked.

That line set off a firestorm from the Clinton camp to the highest levels of NBC and even its corporate parent at the time. Politico reports on an excerpt from the book by Daniel Halper:

According to a source close to the situation, the Clintons called people on the board of NBC’s parent company General Electric to say, “Well, this is outrageous, how NBC News and MSNBC are handling this, and we need to do something about it.” Before long, GE’s chairman Jeffrey Immelt was on the phone with Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal at the time, and (former NBC News president) Steve Capus asking, “What the hell is going on over there? Why are my board members talking about the reporter, and why is your reporter referring to Chelsea as a prostitute?”

Shuster was suspended for the remark. His employment with MSNBC came to an abrupt end in April 2010 when it was revealed that he took part in the taping of a pilot for CNN. Shuster had been with MSNBC since 2002 following a six-year run at Fox News Channel. He is now an anchor with Al Jazeera America. Ironically, Chelsea Clinton would go on to work as a special correspondent for NBC News.

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Alisyn Camerota Joins CNN as Anchor

alisyn-camerotaAlisyn Camerota is back in the cable news business, joining CNN as an anchor. Camerota, whose first day is today, joins CNN after 16 years at Fox News Channel. She left in March. Camerota will contribute to all programs, with a permanent slot announced in the coming months.

“I have been a fan of Alisyn’s for a very long time, and couldn’t be happier that she has agreed to come to CNN,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide.

“From the moment Jeff Zucker shared his vision for innovative storytelling at CNN, I wanted to be part of it,” said Camerota. “I know the power of cable news and it’s exciting to be going to the place that invented it and continues to be the standard bearer for stories of international import. I’ve always admired the fine work of the journalists at CNN and I’m honored to join their ranks.”

Camerota was most recently co-host of “America’s News Headquarters” on FNC. Before that, she co-anchored “Fox & Friends Weekend.” TVNewser caught up with Camerota at the Fred Friendly awards luncheon in early June. At the time, she hinted a new opportunity was in the works.

John Walsh Back on ‘The Hunt’: ‘Television is Still the Most Powerful Medium’

John Walsh CNNWhen John Walsh‘s new CNN show, “The Hunt,” debuts Sunday night, it will be the latest chapter in Walsh’s life’s work: to catch the bad guys.

“I was on that painful journey for 27 years waiting for justice for my son. I know what it’s like. I will always be the father of a murdered child. I will always be that angry, driven guy,” the former “America’s Most Wanted” host told a group of reporters, including TVNewser, over lunch this week. “I just figured out one thing I can do really well  … I’d learn how to catch guys. I got better at it than any police agency because I had the public help.”

In the 26 years that “America’s Most Wanted” was on the air, Walsh’s profiles of fugitives led to the capture of 1,231 of the “biggest, rottenest, bastards on the planet,” as he describes them. Walsh, who has taken time off since Fox canceled “AMW,” was lured back to television by his longtime friend Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide.

“Television is still the most powerful medium. Yes, we have all kinds of digital platforms. We’re teaming up with Facebook, Twitter, all of them are so excited about the show,” Walsh said. “But the bottom line is I caught 99 percent of the guys I caught because I caught them off the television.”

“The Hunt” will not be another version of “America’s Most Wanted,” however. Read more

Bourdain, ‘Sixties,’ Net Emmy Noms for CNN

BourdainEmmyThe Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this morning. Some of the usual suspects have been given nods, including Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, Claire Danes for Homeland, Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep. Full list here.

CNN was the only news network to make the cut, picking up several nominations for informational and documentary series.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” is nominated for Outstanding Informational Series or Special, and 5 other awards. “The Sixties: The Assassination of President Kennedy” is up for two awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.

“We are extremely proud of the superb storytelling, highest-level production and singular voices of CNN’s Original Series,” says CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. “They’ve clearly connected with viewers and critics alike and we are honored that the Television Academy has recognized their work.”

The 66th Primetime Emmys will air Monday, August 25 on NBC, moving from the usual Sunday airing to accommodate Sunday Night Football.

CNN Original Series’ nominations include:

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Jeff Zucker: CNNMoney Able to Bridge TV and Digital ‘Incredibly Well’

CNN MoneyTVNewser was at New York City’s Gansevoort Hotel last night as CNN officially celebrated its sole ownership of CNNMoney, which recently separated from Fortune and Money.

“We’re uniquely positioned to report on financial, money, media, and luxury news because of our prowess across both digital and television,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker told TVNewser at the event.

“CNNMoney is able to bridge both mediums incredibly well, and given our digital strength in particular, I think we’re really well positioned to increase the presence of CNNMoney across television, and blow it out even more.”

And that increase across TV is already underway. During his speech at the event, Zucker gave a shout-out to “Early Start” co-anchor Christine Romans, recognizing her as the new host of “CNN Money” Saturdays at 2pmET. The show, which was previously titled “Your Money,” premiered under its new name two weeks ago.

“Our goal is to make you fluent in money, everything that’s happening in business, but at the same time how it pertains to you and your own finances,” Romans told us.

And expect a healthy marriage between money and politics: “Nothing goes better together than money and politics,” VP of CNNMoney and Politics for digital Ed O’Keefe told us, suggesting coverage will cross-pollinate politics during the 2016 election season.

And you’ve all been waiting… who’s the mysterious hand holding the money clip above? Photo credit goes to CNN’s Senior Director of PR, Matt Dornic.

The Biz Ticker: Bloomberg, Bartiromo, Bell

  • Jacki Kelley is joining Bloomberg Media as Chief Operating Officer. Kelley was most recently CEO for IPG Mediabrands. “There is an insatiable and magnetic ambition at Bloomberg,” Kelley said in a statement. “After looking at what is being built in the media operation here, I realized it’s one of those rare opportunities where if I did not do it, I may wonder what I missed.”

  • In a Q+A with Variety, Maria Bartiromo reveals how she unwinds at the end of the day: “I work out a lot; I ride my bike when I come home. I’ll do 20 or 30 miles a couple of times a week. And I love yoga.”

CNN Money Closing Bell

Bush Library ‘Had No Editorial Control’ Over ’41 on 41′

41on41AilesTVNewser was at the screening last night for the new CNN Films presentation of “41 on 41,” which will air this Sunday, Father’s Day, on CNN.

The film features 41 people sharing intimate stories about the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, as a politician, a president, a father and a grandfather.  In some cases — like that of Pierce Bush, one of 24 Bush grandchildren — the portrait is very intimate. (Listen closely for the story about what was found on Barbara Bush‘s laptop).

“41 on 41″ is executive produced by President Bush’s former White House speechwriter, Mary Kate Cary, and Rick Kaplan, the former president of CNN, and later MSNBC. “It’s good to have Rick back in the building,” said CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in his introduction of the screening.

The film is backed by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, but in the Q&A following the screening, Cary noted the Library “had no editorial control” of the documentary and only provided funding. “This was made as any other independent film would have been made,” said Cary. She said the “41″ theme played throughout the 10-month film-making process, which included 45-minute sit-downs with the 41 participants. In all, the crew traveled 41,000 miles gathering the interviews.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw are featured back-to-back sharing stories of Pres. Bush’s military service. Cary says while it was a challenge to get the list down to just 41, there are a few people she wished could have made the film, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who couldn’t participate due to health reasons, and Tiger Yang, who was assigned to the Bushes during his role as U.S. Liaison to Beijing in 1974-75 and is now a high-ranking Chinese politician. Cary said it was a challenge to get the Chinese government to participate at all in the project.

As for the 41st president, he’s seen the film and enjoyed it. “He was very humbled,” said Cary. “In a Lou Gehrig way, he said, ‘I’m the luckiest guy in the world.’”

Has the Charismatic, Authoritative TV News Broadcaster Been Lost?

BourdainUSA Today’s Michael Wolff gives his take on whether Jeff Zucker can save CNN at a time TV news audiences are growing more “fetishistic,” and the old-school TV news broadcaster “has been lost.”

Jeff Zucker, CNN’s ambitious chief and as tactical a television mind as exists, seems in many ways to have concluded that there probably isn’t. To an ever and ever greater degree, cable news is about sliver audiences— even Fox News averages only a million viewers a night — targeted to melodramatic or campy political sensibilities. In the case of CNN, which tries to rise above single-bore politics, its specialty is the melodramatic and campy news event— the ever-missing plane —that draws the ever-declining news audience. This reflects a problem with the cable audience — it’s overly fixated, if not fetishistic.
But it may also reflect a problem with cable news talent. The very idea of what we used to call a television broadcaster, charismatic and authoritative, has been lost — with, arguably, Barbara Walters, retiring last month at 84, being the last living example in America.

Wolff also suggests ambitious up-and-comers are looking away from the traditional anchor chair, and turning their eye toward a more globe-trotting platform.

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New CNNMoney ‘Will Be More Connected to CNN Television Than Ever’

cnn moneyAs CNN officially takes control of CNNMoney as part of the Time Inc. spinoff from Time Warner, the network is touting “significant changes” to the site.  A new logo, two new verticals, a new app and three Flipboard magazines were launched today.

In a note to staffers this afternoon, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said the site will “be more connected to CNN television than ever.” In addition to branded CNNMoney segments appearing on the channel, TVNewser hears “Your Money,” CNN’s Saturday business show hosted by Christine Romans, will be rebranded to “CNNMoney” in the coming weeks.

“This is an incredible opportunity for CNN to build upon the already-successful CNNMoney brand and expand the network’s business, perso​nal finance, industry, and tech news coverage across all platforms,” Zucker wrote.

Zucker’s full note and a promo for the new CNNMoney are after the jump. Read more

Jeff Zucker: ‘Today We Have Seen the True Scope of What CNN is and Can Be’

cnn the sixties promoThe premiere of CNN’s “The Sixties” averaged 1,390,000 total viewers and 284,000 A25-54 viewers Thursday night, according to Nielsen Fast National data. The preliminary numbers indicate the show’s premiere won the 9pmET timeslot and the re-air won the 10pmET timeslot in the demo. Final numbers will be in later today.

>Update: Finals are in, and CNN did indeed win in the demo at 9pmET and 10pmET.

In a note to staff this afternoon, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker wrote, “I wanted to take a moment to tell you how proud I am to work at CNN today.” Zucker cited the successful launch of “The Sixties” and the “outstanding, months-long reporting” by Drew Griffin, the reporter who broke the VA scandal story — which led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki this morning — as examples.

“Today we have seen the true scope of what CNN is and can be,” Zucker writes. “…CNN is evolving. Our commitment to news, investigative journalism and inspired storytelling is what we are all about.”

For the 9pmET hour, CNN was up +312% in total viewers and +190% in A25-54 viewers compared to the prior four-week average. Compared to past CNN specials — including “Blackfish,” “Weed” and past episodes of “The Sixties” — last night’s premiere ranked second overall in total viewers and 10th in the A25-54 demographic.

Zucker’s full note is after the jump. Read more

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