Photo: WSJ YouTube screencap
When Jeff Zucker takes the reigns at CNN Worldwide come January 1, a few things are going to look different.For starters, Zucker is apparently hoping to up the struggling news network’s entertainment coverage.
According to the New York Post, he’s “reached out to some top reporters in Hollywood to help CNN break more news in that area. He has been sounding out reporters at Variety and Hollywood Reporter.”
A source explains to the Post, “You can’t turn TV people into great reporters, but you can turn a great reporter into a decent broadcaster.”
Zucker has also just hired ABC News’ chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper and is rumoured to awarding “American Morning” anchor Soledad O’Brien a primetime slot while Erin Burnett is rumoured to be heading back to the morning show.
In more hiring and firing news at the network, it was reported earlier this month that Zucker “is interested in installing Curry in CNN’s 8 p.m. time slot, which is currently occupied by Anderson Cooper.”
“He cannot allow the low ratings at CNN to continue,” a source told the Post. “So he can’t hire a nobody. Curry fits that CNN-smarty-pants-foreign-affairs type.”In the recent Hollywood Reporter article “How Jeff Zucker Can Make CNN Less Boring,” Andrew Tyndall writes, “Zucker’s task is not about hiring and firing some big-name anchors, or about rejiggering the flow of programming — though that, surely, needs to be done. He needs to find fresh ways — a new third way — for CNN to make video news.”
Tyndall goes on to predict, “Zucker can be expected to apply the classic formulas of television to CNN’s lineup: personality and flow. CNN’s founding formula — that the news is the star — has long become redundant. The network, created in an era of news scarcity, now is trying to find its way at a time when news is a commodity.”
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