TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

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…

Read more

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?

Read more

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.

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.

Read more

‘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.

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>