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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

Robin Meade, 12 Years an HLN Anchor

“I know that my main job is [to provide] good information, ” says HLN anchor Robin Meade about her mission as a morning anchor, “but it’s [also] mood enhancement. I am supposed to enhance your mood, so you can go on with your day!”

Meade, whose Morning Express show airs weekdays from 6am-noon ET,  spoke with TVNewser Tuesday night at a screening of “CHICAGOLAND”, an eight-part series that debuts tonight on sister network CNN.

Such original programming is part of an overhaul for CNN under the leadership of Worldwide President Jeff Zucker. HLN, too, is undergoing change – it was just last month that the network announced it was rebranding “to become the first TV network for the social media generation.”

Meade is on-board with the interactive focus, since “luckily we kind of already had social media in our DNA for the morning show,” she says.  “I think of the show as a two-way street… It fits right in with us.”

Meade tells us why she still finds her morning gig a good fit, 12 years after she joined HLN.

On CNN, Experimenting at 10, ‘AC360′ at 11

don lemonFor the next month, CNN will be trying out a series of different programs each night in the 10pm hour.

Starting Monday, CNN anchor Don Lemon returns to primetime with “The Don Lemon Show.” The half-hour program will lead in to another new weekly show, “Making The Case” at 10:30pm.

Tuesdays at 10pm will be one-hour special reports; Wednesdays at 10 will see “Death Row Stories;” “Chicagoland” airs Thursdays at 10; and on Fridays its “CNN Spotlight” followed by “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols” at 10:30.

“AC360″ will return to the 11pm hour Monday through Thursday, a re-air of the 8pm hour (live in the event of breaking news.) Friday’s at 11pm is reserved for “Death Row Stories.” This will be the schedule for at least the next five weeks.

Late last year, Lemon hosted the limited-run 11pm show “11th Hour” while Erin Burnett was on maternity leave.

Lemon has also been part of the story as of late, getting into a Twitter spat with Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett when the verdict in the Michael Dunn trial was announced.

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker told TVNewser’s Alissa Krinsky last night at the premiere of “Chicagoland” he’s fine with his anchors showing emotion.

“I think that what you will find is that our anchors and hosts are still objective and presenting the news,” Zucker says. “Are there occasions where they show their passion, and show their emotion? Yes. And is that fine? Yes. And we’re okay with that.”

Jeff Zucker on CNN’s Evolution and His ‘Exhilarating’ Experience Leading the Way

JeffZuckerCNN“I think a new lineup will evolve over time,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker tells TVNewser about the cabler’s much-talked-about primetime schedule. “I don’t think we’re going to have a singular day when we’re going to announce a whole new lineup.  It’ll evolve.”

TVNewser caught up with Zucker in Chicago last night, at the Windy City premiere of “CHICAGOLAND”, CNN’s eight-part documentary series debuting tomorrow night at 10pmET.  It’s part of a wave of new programing ordered by Zucker in an effort to break the mold at the network and kick-start ratings.

One of the puzzle pieces for Zucker is how to utilize Piers Morgan, whose eponymous primetime show will soon be replaced. Earlier this week, Morgan said he’ll “make a deal to do 20 to 25 shows a year, all interviews with big names.”

“I am talking with Piers about what our future will be,” Zucker tells TVNewser. “We are in conversations.”

As the network moves forward, though, one thing is clear: Zucker likes the ratings scored by series such as “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man”.

“Certainly, there’s an appetite and an audience that’s willing to come to CNN to watch that kind of programming, and I think that you’ll see more of that this year.”  Zucker says he has  “several other series in that vein that we haven’t even announced yet.”

And Zucker says that doesn’t mean CNN is moving away from being first and foremost a news organization.

“The fact is,” he says, “CNN is actually offering more hours of live news programming today than we have at any point in the last five years.  So the two [live news and documentaries] are not incompatible. We are always there when news happens. We’re in Ukraine this week, and Crimea, in tremendous numbers, offering round-the-clock coverage, far more than anyone else.”

While CNN’s evolution will take time — and patience — Zucker is keenly aware of the day-to-day ratings game.

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‘Smerconish’ to Debut on CNN This Week

SmerconishMichael Smerconish‘s new CNN show, “Smerconish,” is set to debut this Saturday at 9amET, TVNewser has learned.

The former MSNBC contributor was announced as a CNN host earlier this month. In addition to his weekend show, which will originate from New York, Smerconish will provide analysis and commentary on CNN’s programming throughout the week.

In his new role, Smerconish will continue to host his radio show on SiriusXM Radio and write a weekly column for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In announcing the new show earlier this month, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said Smerconish’s “independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”

Rosie O’Donnell Would ‘Love’ CNN 9pm Slot, But Denies She’s Being Considered

Former “The View” co-host Rosie O’Donnell took to Twitter this morning to respond to a NY Daily News report that she’s on CNN’s short-list to replace Piers Morgan at 9pmET.

It’s doubtful CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker feels too rosy about O’Donnell: back in 2010, she said Zucker—who was President of NBC Entertainment at the time—should be ashamed of himself (along with Jay Leno) for not handing over the “Tonight Show” reins more readily to then-”Late Show” host Conan O’Brien.

O’Donnell was in serious talks with MSNBC in 2007 to host a show there.

February 2014 Ratings: CNN Down in Total Day, Primetime

CNN continues to struggle finding its footing without major breaking news: the network lost a quarter of its audience in total day and a third of its audience in primetime in February. This month was the network’s third-lowest rated month ever in primetime total viewers.

The ratings for February 2014 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 399,000 Total Viewers / 134,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 307,000 Total Viewers / 96,000 A25-54

Compared to the same month last year, CNN is down double digits across the board: -27% in total viewers and -26% in the demo in total day and -39% and -31%, respectively, in primetime. Every CNN program is down in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic year-over-year. CNN has recently said it is planning to acquire more documentaries as a way to attract viewers when there is no major breaking news events, which typically boost ratings.

In primetime, “Anderson Cooper 360″ was down -47% in total viewers and -46% in the A25-54 demographic compared to February 2014. “Piers Morgan Live,” which has been canceled, is going out on a low note: the show is posting its lowest ratings in both ratings measurements ever, down -46% in total viewers and -38% in the demo year-over-year. Jeff Zucker has said that the primetime lineup will see changes this year.

“Crossfire” had its lowest-rated month since launch in total viewers. “OutFront with Erin Burnett” hit a 22-year low in total viewers for the 7pmET timeslot.

With Piers Morgan Out, Could Larry King Be on His Way Back to CNN?

larrykingWith his replacement at CNN officially out, Larry King says he’d be open to a return to the network he was pushed out of in 2010.

“If he (Jeff Zucker) talked to the people at Ora TV and they could work it out, I would do it,” King told The Daily Beast. King also agreed with Morgan’s belief that being British put him at a disadvantage with American audiences.

Back in 2011, King blamed CNN for overselling Morgan from the start.

We’re hearing from network insiders there’s no interest in a King return, but we want to know what you think. Who should replace Piers Morgan at 9pmET on CNN?

‘Piers Morgan Live’ to End on CNN

piersmorganlive logo_304x200Piers Morgan‘s three-year run as host of CNN’s 9pmET hour is set to end as soon as next month, The New York Times David Carr reports.

“CNN confirms that Piers Morgan Live is ending,” a network spokesperson confirmed for TVNewser, adding the final air date or a replacement show has not yet been determined.

After discussing the show’s ratings woes, Morgan and CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker decided to end his primetime show.

“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” Morgan told the Times, adding that his show wasn’t connecting during slower news cycles.

“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

Just five months ago, Morgan told CBS This Morning he would “be taken out of CNN kicking and screaming.”

Jeff Zucker, Al Sharpton Attend White House State Dinner

There were a handful of TVNewsers in attendance at last night’s White House State Dinner in honor of French president François Hollande: according to the official guest list, CNN president Jeff Zucker, MSNBC host Al Sharpton, Bloomberg chief White House correspondent Julianna Goldman and Stephen Colbert were there.

Goldman talked about the event on Bloomberg TV this morning, giving an account of the dinner and a rundown of the menu. “It was really all choreographed beautifully,” said said. Watch:

Michael Smerconish Joins CNN

SmerconishThe staffing and programming changes continue at CNN with the hire of Michael Smerconish, who will host a weekly Saturday morning show from New York.

Smerconish, an MSNBC contributor who has served as the guest host of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” for the past four years, will join CNN this month. In his new role, he will also appear across all CNN’s programming.

“We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said in a statement. “At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”

The show’s name and debut date have not yet been announced. More from CNN after the jump.

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