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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

CNN’s Bill Weir: Reporting Around the World, In Part, For His Daughter


CNN’s Bill Weir has had a lot of time to think. He’s been on flights around the world, and recently spent a night with the crew shooting his new series, “The Wonder List”, on a remote and tiny South Pacific island–no power, just firelight. Weir says the series, which aims to document people and places threatened by a changing world. In those quiet moments, Weir says he was often thinking of his daughter, and the world she will inherit.

“I’m a nostalgic sap on a good day, but the day my 10-year-old entered a room in eye shadow, the world careened off its axis. When I flash forward to her adulthood and flash back to my childhood, the change seems massive,” Weir told TVNewser. “There were maybe three-and-a-half billion people on the planet when I was born. When she’s my age, there will be close to ten billion. Shifting landscapes and values and cultures are inevitable but I’d like to be able to look her in the eye one day and say, I did my best to let them know what they had, when they had it.”
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Jeff Zucker Names New CNN Digital Team

newCNNCNN President Jeff Zucker announced today a new management structure for CNN Digital led by Andrew Morse, Meredith Artley and Alex Wellen. This moves comes after KC Estenson, the former senior vice president and general manager of, was laid off amid company-wide cuts.

The new, three-headed digital group has specific roles designed for each member. Morse will oversee CNN Digital global operations and editorial. Wellen is the chief product officer, while Artley has been promoted to editor-in-chief.

Zucker issued the following statement: Read more

In Profile: Zucker, Kelly, Morse

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker talks with the South China Morning Post:

I think I inherited a company with a long proud tradition, with an iconic brand, that had gotten a little unsure of itself, especially in the U.S., in the partisan cable news wars in the U.S. I think we’ve given the place a little bit more confidence and been a little bit more assertive.

Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly is featured in where she talks about prepping for those big TV moments, asking for a raise and how she got to where she is today.

In journalism, I don’t have quite as much self-doubt as I did practicing law, but I still feel that the key to most things is preparation. I almost never feel nervous, even on big nights, because I usually know what I’m doing. There’s comfort in being prepared. I try hard to provide myself with that.

CNN/U.S. SVP Andrew Morse speaks with Capital about the midterms and how election coverage compares to sporting events.

When technology is used as a gimmick it can be a terrible distraction. The trick is to harness technology in a way that empowers the audience, informs them and brings them closer to the action. CNN has always been an innovator on election night, with the Magic Wall leading the way.

@CNNbrk Cracks 20 Million Followers

CNNBrkRemember back in Apirl of 2009, when Ashton Kutcher and CNN were in a heated race to see who could reach 1,000,000 Twitter followers first?

At 2:13am on April 17, 2009 Kutcher hit that mark. @CNNbrk, the breaking news account of CNN, hit 1,000,000 more than 6 hours later, at 8:55am.

Three years and 9 months later @CNNbrk to hit 10,000,000 followers, hitting that milestone on January 15, 2013.

And now, one year and nine months after that, @CNNbrk has hit 20,000,000 followers.

“This is rare territory,” says CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. “No other news organization comes close. The only other brands of any type with more followers are YouTube and Twitter itself.” And, for what it’s worth, @CNNbrk has flown past Kutcher, who now has 16.5 million followers. Katy Perry still leads the Twitterverse with 58.7 million.

With 14.5 followers, @CNN is not far behind @CNNbrk. In fact, CNN’s main feed is the second-most followed news account on Twitter.

The Evening Ticker: Turner’s Island, AJAM’s Exclusive, CNN Philippines’ Launch

  • CNN founder Ted Turner has listed a private island off the coast of South Carolina for a not-for-the-faint-of-heart asking price of $23.777 million. The WSJ reports Turner bought St. Phillips Island as a family retreat back in 1979, but has “not been able to visit it as much as we would like” in recent years.

  • Al Jazeera America has obtained what the network describes as exclusive footage of an assault by an ISIS unit battling Iraqi forces. AJAM’s Imran Khan says “the military tactics of ISIL fighters has so far been very secretive… but for the first time, we’re able to see how well-trained and how well-disciplined they are as a fighting force.”

  • CNN and Nine Media are partnering for “CNN Philippines,” an English language free-to-air channel that will also run 24-hours a day on cable and pay TV. CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says the deal “enables us to provide first-class news and information to millions of Filipinos in a way that we have not been able to previously.”

Susan Grant Departing CNN

SusanGrantSusan Grant, a 27-year Turner executive, is leaving CNN, TVNewser has learned.

Grant’s departure comes as CNN cuts its workforce by 300 employees, a process which began with buyout offers and continued yesterday with layoffs.

As executive vice president of CNN News Services, Grant is the highest profile CNN employee to be departing the network this week. During her time at CNN, Atlanta-based Grant has worked in sales and marketing, and as president of Turner Program Services. Years ago was CNN’s first PR person.

“I will happily always be a member of this wonderful CNN team, and I will enjoy sharing in your continued successes,” Grant writes in a note to staff (after the jump).

“It is undeniable that few people in the history of CNN have contributed more than Susan Grant,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker tells TVNewser. “Throughout her time here, she has touched almost every part of the company. And each one has been the better for it. She has been a valued member of my Executive team, and her unwavering commitment to CNN is what has made her so special. I wish her nothing but the best.”

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NABJ Concerned Over CNN Cuts

DariusWalkerCNNA week after the National Association of Black Journalists expressed its concern “about the atmosphere for African Americans at CNN,” the network has laid off one of its highest-profile black executives.

Darius Walker, (right) an 18-year CNN veteran, is among the hundreds of employees cut as the network trims its workforce. Walker was a VP and the Northeast Bureau Chief based in New York.

NABJ president Bob Butler said its examination, even before the cuts, found “only two African American executive producers” at CNN.

“I’m shaking my head,” Butler told us by phone Tuesday, saying he’s heard from several NABJ members who were among the 170 laid off.

“When you talk to people there, we hear, ‘yeah, we’ve hired your members.’ But it’s about more than that. It’s about them getting some kind of meaningful job and getting promoted.”

Butler expressed his concerns during a meeting with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker last year. He says he’ll continue to press the NABJ case at CNN and other news networks.

“I find it hard to believe that in 2014 that this network, or any other network, can’t find qualified candidates of color. I find it hard to believe. That’s an excuse.”

Jeff Zucker: ‘Chaos is Good for CNN’

FEATURED JeffZuckerCNNNew York Magazine‘s Gabriel Sherman profiles CNN President Jeff Zucker, chronicling his career from NBC to CNN, his battle with serious health issues, and his current quest to revive CNN.

To try to lure viewers to CNN in prime time, he is turning over the 9 o’clock hour — which had been devoted to talk since the days of Larry King—to high-quality (and expensive) original entertainment programming. Over the past year, CNN has rolled out nonfiction series like The Sixties, produced by Tom Hanks, and documentaries such as the SeaWorld exposé Blackfish. Currently, the highest-rated show on CNN is the weekly travel program hosted by Anthony Bourdain. On September 28, the network launched a series with Lisa Ling; this week brings the debut of Mike Rowe. By next year, Zucker will have a dozen original series and six documentaries in CNN’s schedule. He even developed fictional scripts based on historical events, though those projects were ultimately scrapped. “We’re doing some things that antagonize people who are so protective of the legacy of CNN,” he said. “We have to change.”

The CNN chief acknowledges that big, chaotic breaking news is good news for the network.

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Piers Morgan: ‘CNN Should be More Resilient to Media Criticism’ About Ratings

PiersMorganIn an exclusive interview with POLITICO, former CNN host Piers Morgan says he has no hard feelings toward his former network. He’s also got advice for network President Jeff Zucker.

“I’ve never looked back, because I never feel negative,” Morgan said in his first interview since leaving the network in September. “I’ve always felt that CNN should be more resilient to media criticism about monthly or quarterly ratings,” Morgan says. “Ted Turner once described CNN to me as The New York Times of television. We don’t care about chasing ratings or chasing readers. We care about having a brand that is so trusted that whenever anything important happens in the world, people turn us on.” “If I was running CNN, if I was Jeff Zucker, I would come out and do an interview with someone like you, and I would say, ‘I’m not going to discuss ratings again,’” Morgan continues. “Our business proposition is not predicated on ratings, our global brand is not dependent on how we rate at 9 p.m. in America.”

In the interview, Morgan tells a different story about the terms of his departure.

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Mike Rowe: ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It,’ Isn’t Another ‘Dirty Jobs’

MikeRoweIceSculptureCNN toasted their newest host Mike Rowe at Hudson Mercantile on the far West Side of Manhattan tonight.

Next Wednesday Rowe takes his bow on the network with his new show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” Rowe says it’s not a continuation of his old Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs,” but rather an extension of a segment he did on “Evening Magazine” back in the early 2000s on San Francisco station KPIX.

“‘Dirty Jobs’ focused through the lens of dirt. This show will focus through the lens of people,” Rowe says. While the show is more than a decade in the making, getting it on CNN has taken considerably less time.

On his first day in January 2013, new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker spotted Rowe dining at the Landmarc in Time Warner Center. “I sat down and I said to him, ‘We want you on CNN.’ And here we are 18 months later. It took a little while, but here we are.”

Rowe says he told Zucker all he needed was “some jet fuel and an hour a week. One hour. One single hour where there’s absolutely, positively not going to be any bad news… Unless of course something breaks, and then I get it,” Rowe jokes, recognizing CNN’s primary mission.

Rowe says CNN is a great fit for his brand of reality TV, which he says has devolved over time. “CNN has always been a non-fiction network, with an eye on news,” he says. “But what’s going on in the rest of the industry, I’m not sure. I joked with Jeff, ’The duck’s have a dynasty, the amish have a mafia and honey’s got a boo boo.”

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