Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Deposed NBC chief Jeff Zucker fails upward into running CNN

Confirming several days' worth of rumors and jokes about Wolf Blitzer suddenly being replaced by Jay Leno, CNN has announced that Jeff Zucker—the man whose questionable tastes, stubbornness about those questionable tastes, and bafflingly shortsighted decision-making dug NBC into the pitiable quagmire that's made its every minor ratings victory in his absence cause for celebration, like a newly dictator-free, yet still-starving nation grateful that the executions have stopped, at least—will be in charge of running CNN now. Zucker's new job begins in January. (Related: Upon hearing his "there are no second acts in American lives" maxim had just been proven wrong once more by corporate meritocracy, F. Scott Fitzgerald drank himself to death all over again.)

Anyway, Time Warner says it chose Zucker due to his history as a news executive, pointing to his successful tenure at Today decades ago as evidence he still has the savvy to revive the lagging CNN, and make it more competitive with the likes of Fox News. And given that Zucker jazzed up Today by making actual news reporting a tangential sideshow—doing things like emphasizing more crowd interaction and introducing its concert series—hey, maybe Time Warner is right. After all, who better to compete with the scare tactics and blustering sensationalism of Fox News' Roger Ailes than the man who brought you Fear Factor and Donald Trump?


Share This Story

Get our newsletter