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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

Turner Offers Buyouts to Hundreds of Employees; Will Also Seek ‘Additional Reductions in Staffing’

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Breaking: CNN and HLN are beginning a process of offering buyouts to hundreds of employees today. The Turner networks are among those feeling the effects of plan laid out by Turner CEO John Martin in a memo to all employees last week. More specifics came from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker who told told employees last Tuesday they would hear from their managers about cutbacks. This morning, a note from Turner’s Chief Human Resources Officer arrived. The note, obtained by TVNewser explains that even after buyouts “Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.”

To support the company’s stated focus on programming, monetization and innovation, we are identifying cost savings and shifting capital allocations to high-growth areas where investment will drive growth and profitability. As part of these efforts, we are offering a Voluntary Separation Program to regular status Turner Broadcasting employees on Turner’s U.S. payroll working in the U.S. and who are at least age 55 and have 10 or more years of service as of December 31, 2014, excluding on-air talent and employees covered by a written employment agreement.

Today, employees meeting these eligibility requirements will receive a confidential, personalized email detailing the program, its benefits and deadlines for acceptance, which is strictly voluntary. This enhanced benefit offering is just one vehicle the company is implementing as part of a comprehensive plan. Given the current focus on reducing costs and prioritizing investments to maximize company performance, Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.

We are grateful to the tenured employees whose service and dedication to Turner Broadcasting have made an indelible mark on our business success.

This is all part of Martin’s goal to create a more “streamlined, nimble and efficient company” as part of his “Turner 2020″ plan.

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Jeff Zucker: ‘We Are Going to Do Less and Have to Do It With Less’

JeffZuckerCNNThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker shared grim news with some staffers this past week.

On the same day Turner CEO John Martin sent a memo to all Turner Broadcasting employees hinting at layoffs to help create a more “streamlined, nimble and efficient company,” Zucker told employees CNN will be affected.  “We are going to do less and have to do it with less,” he said in a Tuesday morning call with employees. The Journal-Constitution has a partial transcript.

“We now have a sense of what Turner is expecting from CNN. I am working with the senior management team at CNN to figure out what this means for us. This will result in changes and what we do and what we stop doing.  We need to continue to protect what we’ve been doing so brilliantly for the last few months. We need to have the ability to do what we’ve been doing. On the other hand, we are faced with reality, we are going to have to do what we do with less. As a result, that means there will be changes. No final decisions have been made. I will be meeting with senior management of CNN. You will hear from your manager in the next week or so.”

Zucker will certainly want to protect CNN’s investment in original series and documentaries; the type of programming he’s gone all in on since taking the reins last year. Which departments and programming are affected by cuts remains to be seen.

We’ve reached out to CNN on reports of impending layoffs, but haven’t heard back yet.

David Gregory: ‘I Leave NBC as I Came – Humbled and Grateful’

David Gregory has confirmed that he is leaving “Meet the Press” and NBC News:

Still no official announcement from NBC, which is expected to announce Chuck Todd as the new moderator of “Meet the Press” this afternoon or tomorrow. (MSNBC has effectively already confirmed the news.) >Update, 4:50 p.m.: It’s Official: Chuck Todd Named Host of “Meet the Press”

Gregory, who joined NBC News in 1995, has hosted “Meet the Press” for six years, since the death of Tim Russert in 2008. During Gregory’s tenure, the show slipped in the ratings, first losing ground to CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and, more recently, frequently placing third behind “FTN” and ABC’s “This Week.”

No word yet on what is next for Gregory, who was recently spotted meeting with CNN Worldwide president 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.’”

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