THIS IS a tremendous human asset for CNN, with Jeff Zucker the first person named that comes with the varied expertise to take on CNN’s programming problems.
Zucker’s latest foray, “Katie,” helping launch Katie Couric’s daytime talk show, which I personally have found hard to watch, is still finding its footing. After having enormous programming success at the entertainment division, the infamous battle between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno at late night, as well as challenges in the ratings war, dragged Zucker down.
However, there are few name television executives that have taken on challenges as wide and deep, with great successes at NBC Entertainment.
“I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN,” Zucker said in a statement. “The global reach and scale of the CNN brand is unparalleled in all of news. Outside of my family and the Miami Dolphins, there is nothing I am as passionate about as journalism.” His first challenge is likely to be turning around CNN/US television ratings, which have been declining in recent years. [CNN]
He’s got a gargantuan task ahead at CNN. Some of it lies in the talent itself. CNN morning should be the first place Zucker starts. His success at “Today” proves he knows the medium of morning TV and nothing would help CNN more than shaking up their early morning shows.