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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

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

CNN Goes Back to ‘The Sixties’

In celebration of the premiere of “The Sixties,” CNN threw a ’60s themed party Wednesday night at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal. The party was held in the same space where the network’s exhibit of ’60s artifacts is on display this week.

The party included entertainment from Beatles tribute band The Fab Faux and 1960s-themed food, including green bean casserole, turkey meatloaf and retro candy, served on TV dinner trays. Guests posed for photos with tie-dye bandanas, retro sunglasses, and inflatable guitars. The exhibit, which features one of Keith Richards‘ guitars, a lifesize replica of Mr. Rogers, and an old television camera belonging to CBS News, was also open to guests.

TVNewser spotted Don Lemon, Ashleigh Banfield, John Berman, Brian Stelter and his wife, NY1′s Jamie Stelter, Christine Romans and Sally Kohn. CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker introduced the Fab Faux before they took the stage around 8 p.m. Also in attendance: Indra Petersons, Allison Kosik, Poppy Harlow, Sam Feist, Dan Abrams, and Chris Cuomo, whose brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was on hand to open the exhibit at Grand Central on Tuesday.

“The Sixties” is a ten-part series that kicks off the network’s new primetime programming slate. The first installment airs tonight at 9pmET.

CNN, Smithsonian Affiliates Partner for ‘A Look into the Sixties’ Exhibit at Grand Central

cnn sixties promoCNN and 11 Smithsonian-affiliated museums have partnered to curate a special exhibit on the 1960s, opening Tuesday at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall.

The exhibit is timed with the premiere of CNN’s “The Sixties” Thursday night on CNN. In a statement, Jeff Zucker said “bringing the series to life through these artifacts adds a unique dimension to our storytelling.”

The exhibit will be open through Friday, May 30. TVNewser will be at “The Sixties” premiere party at Grand Central Wednesday night.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Carol Costello Move to NYC

costello baldwinTwo CNN anchors are making the move from Atlanta to New York this summer. Beginning in August, Brooke Baldwin and Carol Costello will anchor their respective hours of “CNN Newsroom” from NYC. Costello anchors “Newsroom” from 9-11amET and Baldwin helms the 2-4pmET hours.

“Carol Costello and Brooke Baldwin will move to New York to anchor their weekday CNN Newsroom shows, beginning in August. There will be no other changes to those shows’ production team,” a CNN spokesperson told TVNewser. “Atlanta is, and always will be, a critical part of CNN Worldwide’s operations. It remains home to much of our programming and content, including the production for many of our shows, CNN’s worldwide newsgathering operations, CNN Digital, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, HLN and Newsource.”

Other CNN shows that are anchored from New York but produced in Atlanta: “CNN Newsroom” with Don Lemon” and “Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield. Wolf Blizter‘s 1pmET “Wolf” is produced in Atlanta but anchored in DC. A CNN source tells us having the anchors in New York gives them more on-set guest opportunities.

The shift means all of CNN’s weekday programs will be anchored from New York or DC. When Jeff Zucker took over as CNN Worldwide president, he said: ““Atlanta will continue to be the home for CNN and continue to be the backbone of CNN.”

Jeff Zucker: CNN Won’t be ‘Shamed’ Into Benghazi Coverage

JeffZuckerCNNCapital New York reports CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker won’t allow CNN to be “shamed” into covering special committee hearings on the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” Zucker told the New York TimesBill Carter at last night’s Deadline Club awards dinner. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

The “others” Zucker was likely referring to were his competitors at Fox News and MSNBC; both networks rededicated coverage to the Benghazi story earlier this month when new emails were uncovered showing White House adviser Ben Rhodes providing former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice talking points before her Sunday show interviews several days after the attack.

And while continuing to defend his network’s Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 coverage, Zucker acknowledged one regrettable moment.

“He was being facetious, but it did not come off that way,” Zucker said about anchor Don Lemon asking a guest if a black hole possibly sucked in the plane. “And he knows that if he could do it over again, he wouldn’t quite present it that way.”

CNN Ad Sales EVP on Selling Traditional Newscasts vs. Original Series

CNNLogo_11.24CNN Worldwide EVP of ad sales Katrina Cukaj talks to Capital New York about the differences between selling traditional newscasts and original series, which the network continues to add to its lineup:

There are so many incredible headlines out there, and it is a different sort of storytelling, and I think you probably got that from Jeff [Zucker]’s presentation [at the upfront]. We do storytelling on a newscast very differently than we do storytelling in an original series. I think the opportunity for us is to engage with our viewers and our advertisers in unique storytelling ways, so I think Jeff used the example of the way Anderson Cooper covers Libya is going to be a little bit different than the way an Anthony Bourdain covers Libya, and that is the positioning we are using in the marketplace.

Some of the topics are being ripped from the headlines, and we have new storytellers now, though these production companies that we are working with in the longform, to get more engaged, deeper into what some of those headline stories were, and “Chicagoland” was a perfect example of that. The three key pillars for us is the original reporting, the original series and films, and with all of our digital distribution, basically taking and driving that scale and reach across the board.

Jeff Zucker on CNN’s MH370 Coverage: ‘The Audience has Spoken’

CNN planeMashable’s Jason Abbruzzese talks to CNN executives, including Jeff Zucker, about how the network has “embraced data to help understand not just what to say and how to say it, but where to say it and when to stop saying it.” In the case of the missing Malaysian plane, for example, the network concluded that “numbers, not critics, are the measure of success”:

“I think that if people want to be critical of CNN for over-covering a story, that’s totally fine with us,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker told Mashable. “Clearly, the audience has spoken and said that what CNN did was correct.”

CNN’s use of data to track the habits of consumers online and on TV helped the outlet realize that the plane story had legs. That research prompted the network to keep the story on air longer than might seem intuitive to a news producer.

[...] KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital, said the missing Malaysian airliner was just the most visible example of the network’s embrace of data as an editorial tool.

“We’re looking at consumption patterns and trends across the web, mobile, social and video, and then on third-party sites, looking at that and making decisions about how we program for all platforms,” said Estenson, who oversees CNN’s data operations. “You’re seeing that start to come online and start to bear fruit with something like the Malaysian airline story.”

Jamie Horowitz Named SVP/General Manager of ‘Today’ Show

JamieHorowitzESPN executive Jamie Horowitz is joining NBC News as SVP and GM of the “Today” show. But his ESPN contract won’t allow him to take the job until later this year.

Horowitz, who will report to NBC News president Deborah Turness, will lead the four hours of “Today” on all platforms. Executive producer Don Nash, “Weekend Today” EP Dee Dee Thomas, and Jen Brown the GM of Today.com, will report to Horowitz.

At ESPN, Horowitz is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. He has overseen the launch of Keith Olbermann‘s ESPN2 show as well as “First Take,” “Numbers Never Lie,” and “SportsNation.” Before joining ESPN in 2006, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports. He began his career as an NBC Olympics Researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

“I am honored to join Deborah’s team and help guide ‘Today’ into the future,” said Horowitz in a news release. “This is an exciting and invigorating opportunity, and I am humbled to work with one of the most indelible brands in television. I am also grateful to John Skipper and ESPN for the opportunities and support they have given me over the past eight years.”

Horowitz is another in a line of “Today” show leaders who got their start with NBC Olympics. Former EP Jim Bell, now the EP of NBC Olympics, got his start as a producer for NBC’s coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Games. Now CNN Worldwide president, one-time “Today” show EP Jeff Zucker‘s first job at NBC was as a researcher at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Deadspin first reported back in January that NBC was talking with Horowitz about the job.

See Turness’ internal note to staff, after the jump…

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