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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual ’35 Most Powerful People in New York Media’

Television news executives and personalities are well represented on The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” list.

From the executive ranks: CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes; NBC News chairman Pat Fili-Krushel and president Deborah Turness; and incoming Disney/ABC Television group president Ben Sherwood and ABC News president James Goldston represent the broadcast networks. On the cable side, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith make the list.

The main anchors for the broadcast networks — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley — are all on the list, as well as morning anchors from each network. For NBC, it’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell represent CBS; and for ABC, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer. “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski and “CBS Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison are also named.

As for cable news talent, all three Fox News primetime hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — make the list. From MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; and from CNN, Anderson Cooper.

Other notable additions: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.

TVNewser will be at the party celebrating the honorees tonight.

[Images via Hollywood Reporter]

CNN Doubles Down on a Mix of Live News, Original Series and Films

photoCNN wants viewers to “go there.” And for CNN, “there” is everywhere.

The network announced today it is going to continue pushing the boundaries of traditional cable news by launching more exploratory programs weeknights at 9pmET hosted by proven TV talent: Mike Rowe, John Walsh and Lisa Ling, among them.

“What we did over the course of the last year was test that out,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker told TVNewser in an interview after his upfront presentation. He touted shows hosted by Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock, paired with documentaries like “Blackfish,” and “Chicagoland,” which complemented CNN’s breaking news coverage. “We were able to test out our ability to do both at the same time and that’s how we feel that it all works together,” Zucker says.

“As you see, none of this is about prison lockups,” Zucker joked, taking a jab at MSNBC’s popular “Lockup” franchise.

“Nobody should ever be confused about our commitment to live breaking news when it happens, as witnessed by the last six weeks,” Zucker said, refering to the network’s coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Zucker acknowledged a drop in live ratings when coverage of a breaking story stops, and a documentary begins. “Frankly, at the end of the day, we get paid on the DVR playback,” he says. Still, he vowed to pre-empt the new 9pm block when big news breaks.

We asked several CNN anchors what they thought of the new primetime lineup, “I think it’s cool,” Anderson Cooper told us. “There’s a lot of different ways to tell a story. To me, the storytelling makes sense the way it’s going to work.”

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As Missing Plane Coverage Continues, ‘Crossfire’ Vanishes

Crossfire304x200One of CNN’s signature political shows remains off the air, despite the easing up of near-nonstop coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Today marks one month since “Crossfire” last aired. But it’s not for a lack of political news: the Affordable Care Act sign-up deadline, which lends itself to fiery debate, came and went; there have been primaries in several states leading up to the 2014 midterms, not to mention the jockeying for 2016, and then there’s the politics of foreign policy: Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and beyond.

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser the 6:30pmET show “will remain on hiatus this week, but will be back soon.”

CNN clearly sees value in the brand. Today at its Upfront, which TVNewser will be attending, the network will announce that “Crossfire Reloaded” is among the series from the new CNN Digital Studios.

The TV version of “Crossfire,” however, “is not easily adaptable to a single breaking news story, especially a missing airliner,” former senior executive at CBS, Fox, and Telemundo, Joe Peyronnin, tells TVNewser. Peyronnin says there’s a difference between “Crossfire” and news shows like those anchored by Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, and Anderson Cooper.

“To allow ‘Crossfire’ to run at the height of viewer interest [in the missing plane story] would risk losing many viewers and break CNN’s coverage momentum,” Peyronnin says.

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Q1 2014 Ratings: Despite Strong March, CNN Third For the Quarter

CNN had its third-lowest overall quarter in primetime total viewers in 23 years (since 1991), ranking behind only the second quarter of 2012 and the final quarter of last year.

The ratings for Q1, 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 498K Total Viewers / 169K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 383K Total Viewers / 122K A25-54

Compared to Q1 2013, CNN lost ground in both total day and primetime viewers. In total day, the network was down -5% in total viewers and flat in A25-54 viewers. For primetime, the net was down -16% in total viewers and down -3% in A25-54 viewers. Last year’s first quarter was CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker‘s first at the helm, as Jake Tapper premiered as host of “The Lead,” and the network drew strong ratings for its Carnival Cruise incident coverage.

Although CNN was down overall for Q1, the month of March produced strong ratings thanks to nonstop coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The strong month propelled CNN past MSNBC into second place in the total day and primetime demo category. For the month, CNN averaged 655,000 total viewers and 231,000 A25-54 viewers in total day. In primetime, the network averaged 498,000 total viewers and 164,000 A25-54 viewers.

Compared to March 2013, the network was up +42% in total viewers and up +53% demo viewers for total day. In primetime, the net was up +37% in total viewers and up +65% in the demo year-over-year. Tapper’s “The Lead,” “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” and “Anderson Cooper 360″ all moved up to the #2 spot in both total and demo viewers, passing their MSNBC counterparts, Alex Wagner, Ed Schultz, and Chris Hayes, respectively.

CNN’s full press release after the jump.

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CNN Hits New Digital Heights in March

CNN MalaysiaWhen March cable news ratings come out tomorrow, CNN will show a vast improvement over last March, likely finishing second to Fox News Channel in several measures. This morning, CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker is taking an early victory lap and thanking his team.

In a note to staff obtained by TVNewser, Zucker writes, “Your work, from Malaysia, Australia and Beijing, to Ukraine, Crimea and Moscow, to Pretoria and Washington state (and yes, Mississauga, Ontario, too), has once again shown the global power of CNN.” Mississauga is where CNN’s Martin Savidge has been holed up for the better part of three weeks in a Boeing 777 flight simulator.

March is expected to be the best month ever in page views and video streams across the CNN sites. “We will likely have more unique users across our global sites than any month in our history,” Zucker adds.

Zucker’s full note, after the jump…

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Here’s the Difference Between Ben Sherwood and Jeff Zucker

ben sherwood jeff zuckerAs Ben Sherwood prepares to take on his new role at Disney, Fortune examines whether the ABC News president “is the next Jeff Zucker.” Sherwood and Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, have followed a similar career path since they were colleagues at the Harvard Crimson:

Sherwood laughs off the comparison, saying that there are very important differences between the two, the most important of which being that he is “6’4″ and has 10% more hair than his friend “Jeffie.” (He says Zucker calls him “Benji.”) Whereas Zucker was criticized for never quite fitting into the fabric of the L.A. scene, Sherwood was born and raised there and is moving his family back to what he calls home. He does possess entertainment bona fides, having written three books that were optioned (one, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, was made into a movie in 2010), and being married to a woman with impeccable credentials in the space. (Karen Kehela Sherwood is the co-Chair at Imagine Films.)

Sherwood also weighs in about how he’ll spend the next few months: Read more

Phil Kent’s Turner Exit Interview: Jeff Zucker ‘Rebuilding’ CNN Fan Base

philip_kentIn an exit interview with Jack Myers, outgoing Turner Broadcasting Chairman Phil Kent credits current CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker with rebuilding the network, which Kent once ran, from 2000-2001. “Jeff brings an expanded vision of the network and it’s still the early stages,” Kent says. “He’s rebuilding the fan base and knows it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Jeff believes the role of the network is still to capture the middle, but to do it better. He has re-energized the core of the journalistic force who believe in his leadership. CNN is better today on breaking news [ratings increased with the recent Malaysian aircraft disappearance and Russia's incursion into Ukraine], has hired more producing talent, and expanded the documentary business…

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Ben Sherwood’s Disney Promotion ‘Came Together Between Space Mountain and Dumbo’

Ben SherwoodABC News president Ben Sherwood will be taking the red eye back to New York tonight from Los Angeles, along with his new title: Co-president of Disney/ABC.

In his first interview since his big promotion, Sherwood tells The Hollywood Reporter this all came together in the last couple of weeks: “[Disney chairman] Bob [Iger] talked to a number of internal candidates. I spoke to him a couple weeks ago. My family, we went on vacation last week. Turns out we happened to be in Orlando at Walt Disney World for the week. This all came together very quickly between Space Mountain and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.”

While his family will move back to Los Angeles this summer, Sherwood will be splitting time between New York and Burbank for the next 9 months, until he fully takes the reins at Disney/ABC early next year.  “I’m coming from a different part of the company — from news — and so it would be presumptuous that I would be doing anything but observing, listening and learning and contributing where I can,” Sherwood says

THR: The last successful news guy to take over an entertainment division was Jeff Zucker. Anything you learned from his tenure at NBC Universal?

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Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Inside Man’ Kicks Off Second Season in April

morgan_spurlockhedThe second season of Morgan Spurlock‘s “Inside Man” will debut next month with a show about America’s obsession with celebrity. Spurlock will become a paparazzo for the day for the episode, which will air April 13.

The eight-week season includes shows that will examine issues like pets in America, cyber spying and UFOs. When he announced the season season of “Inside Man,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker called the show “the perfect example of the type of program our audience is looking for when we aren’t covering the news of the day.”

The second season of “Inside Man” will debut immediately after the season premiere of “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.” More from CNN after the jump. Read more

Wolf Blitzer Honored With National Press Foundation Award

Wolf Blitzer was awarded with the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism earlier this week from the National Press Foundation.

“He’s kind of like Cher…people just call him Wolf,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said in a special montage made by CNN for Blitzer. “Listen balloon boy, I’ll tell you who the hell Wolf is,” Anderson Cooper said after a clip from balloon boy a few years ago asked “who the hell’s Wolf?”

“Wolf’s a top notch journalist, a treasured colleague, cool under pressure, and up for anything…congratulations Wolf,” Cooper added.

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