A major shift is about to occur at CNN.Amid struggling ratings, the network is set to appoint a new leader of CNN Worldwide for the first time in a decade.
Cue former NBCUniversal CEO and current executive producer of Katie Couric’s new daytime talk show, Jeff Zucker.
Zucker is the likely frontrunner, reports The New York Times, after a four-month-long search to find someone to succeed current President, Jim Walton, before he departs at the end of this year.
According to Brian Stelter at The New York Times:
Several news executives close to Mr. Zucker said this week that they believed he had been chosen to run CNN, and they expected the appointment to be announced soon. People close to the Time Warner chief executive, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, also identified Mr. Zucker. A Time Warner spokesman declined to comment.
Other names that have been thrown out to fill the position include ex-Sony boss Howard Stringer, former NBC News president Neal Shapiro and former ABC News chief, David Westin.
former NBC news president and current WNYC CEO Neal Shapiro and former ABC News chief David Westin.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/cnn-wants-jeff-zucker-to-reinvigorate-the-network-2012-9#ixzz2DWLjqnNc“They want someone who has programming and management and cable expertise; someone who can be credible to the staff and to the business community,” one source told The Times. “They know that this is a pretty tall order.”
Not that news of Zucker’s possible hiring is a huge shock. As we reported in October, Zucker was likely leaving “Katie” with his eyes on the prize of the CNN president position.
But as Zucker has a major financial interest in “Katie,” he will now have to negotiate his way out of a contract that promised to pay him a reported $8 million.
Even as far back as June, the New York Post was reporting rampant rumours of Zucker getting the coveted gig:
Several news business high-ups say one name being floated internally to come in and revive CNN ratings is Jeff Zucker, the former NBCUniversal boss. Zucker is friendly with both [Time Warner CEO Jeff] Bewkes and corporate adviser, Gary Ginberg. The Zucker prospect has rattled some in the executive ranks.
Zucker, who, as a young 26-year-old NBC News producer helped start what became a 16-year winning streak for the “Today” show, could benefit the struggling CNN as the network is desperately trying to boost ratings with new programming such as original content from TV chef Anthony Bourdain and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, as well as a new internal documentary division.
But then again, Zucker’s eldest child “Today” is also currently seeing a ratings low — being beaten by “GMA” this November sweeps for the first time in 17 years.
Apparently, CNN execs think Zucker’s magic touch will last long enough to bring the network back to its glory days.
To read the entire New York Times article, click here.
Several news business high-ups say one name being floated internally to come in and
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