Jeff Zucker Named President of CNN Worldwide

Categories: Cable News Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

November 29th, 2012

via press release:

Jeff Zucker will join CNN Worldwide as president of the multi-platform global news enterprise, it was announced today by Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.  In January 2013, Zucker will assume executive oversight of a portfolio of 23 branded news and information businesses that includes CNN/U.S., CNN International, and HLN and reaches more than 2 billion people in some 200 countries around the world.  Zucker will report to Kent and will be based at CNN in New York.


Zucker started his 25-year career with NBC as a researcher for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and rose to president and chief executive officer of NBC Universal.  He was named executive producer of Today in January 1992; under his eight-year leadership, the program was the most-watched morning news show and the most profitable program on television.  Zucker went on to executive-produce NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and the network’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War, the 1993 and 1997 presidential inaugurations and the 2000 elections.  He was promoted to president of NBC Entertainment, president of the NBC Entertainment, News & Cable group and president and CEO of the NBC Universal Television Group.  Currently, Zucker is executive producer of the syndicated daytime show Katie.


“Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success,” said Kent.  “He built and sustained the number-one brand in morning news, and under his watch NBC’s signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism.  As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN.  I couldn’t be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here.”


“I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN,” said Zucker.  “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.  I spent the most rewarding years of my career as a journalist, and it’s where I look forward to spending many more.  I am grateful to Phil Kent for this opportunity, and I’m excited to return to daily newsgathering and compelling storytelling in a place that values those above all else.”


The original 24-hour news network, CNN has the greatest reach of any domestic news network.  The CNN brand on television extends to 100 million households in the U.S. and 265 million households abroad, with significant online and mobile reach and a global newsgathering network with 45 locations.  CNN signatures include Anderson Cooper 360, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan Tonight, State of the Union, Amanpour and Quest Means Business, as well as award-winning documentaries, unrivaled breaking news coverage and peerless political reporting.


CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

  • Jeff (Canada)

    “….and there were no survivors.”

  • Max Vrany

    CNN hires the who oversaw NBC’s magical journey from first to last. CNN’s already in last and I don’t think his powers work in reverse.

  • richard

    you know, im not denying he made some terrible mistakes (business wise). But is it possible he gets too much of ab bad rap? Some of the stuff that happened at NBC very well could have happened to anyone, regardless of who was in charge. And it was just a matter of bad timing and bad luck.

    idk, but its possible

  • richard

    like, change in times causing downfall might have happened to nbc no matter who was running it

  • Oliver


    Zucker introduced the Jay Leno Show, introduced a policy of straight-to-series shows rather than pilots (resulting in some notorious bombs), and super-sized sitcoms to 40 minutes to save money. He famously “managed for margins”.

    This demonstrates shows a fundamental problem with corporate America: appointments get made on connections rather than ability. There are thousands of people who are able to do the job, yet Zucker, a proven failure, gets the job.

  • nick p

    Jeff Zucker is the new president of CNN His first act as president will be replacing Wolf Blitzer with Jay Leno.

  • Brian L.

    With Zucker in the Turner Broadcasting family, Conan should watch his back too. This guys was a disaster at NBC, and yet keeps getting jobs. Amazing.

  • Brendan

    Conan does not have to watch his back – he and Zucker are old Harvard buddies.
    Zucker is the reason Conan got his job in the first place and he is the one who engineered taking Leno off the air when ratings were the highest and replacing him with Conan.
    I see also with this move, Matt Lauer will leave the Today show and wind up on CNN.
    Put the crystal ball away, it is not necessary.

  • Jan

    Let’s hope he improves it. Maybe actually HAVE 24 hour news or news on the weekend that doesn’t rerun. CNN used to be really good. Now it isn’t.

  • Melanie

    Really? Well, he sucked at programming for fictional stories — maybe he’ll do better with non-fiction. . . . . .

  • Steve

    How to fix CNN:

    1. Show some actual news
    2. Stop dumbing everything down to the level of a Fraggle Rock “how a bill becomes law” level
    3. Fire every single on-air personality they currently have, and bring in people with credibility
    4. Show some actual news

    If they can’t do that, just can the whole network and replace it with CNN-International, which is actually an excellent news channel, barely even available in the US right now.

  • Ultima

    super-sized sitcoms to 40 minutes to save money

    While there are plenty of legitimate criticisms, this is not one of them.

    Super-sized comedies were started in 2001 as a way to remain competitive during sweeps when CBS blind-sided NBC by scheduling Survivor and CSI on Thursdays.

    It’s a completely legitimate (and, in my opinion, creative) tactic for boosting ratings for a short period of time.

    If the goal was to save money, they would have done it over the course of the entire season rather than just a few times a year.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Brendan: >>> …Matt Lauer will leave the Today show and wind up on CNN. <<< You think that Lauer is going to leave NBC and the $25 million annual salary that they are paying him? I seriously doubt that CNN would up the ante.

  • Bill Gorman

    “Maybe actually HAVE 24 hour news or news on the weekend that doesn’t rerun.”

    “How to fix CNN:

    1. Show some actual news”

    Why people would watch television for news, except in the case of a breaking visual event (which are even now sometimes covered better by web streaming) is a complete mystery to me.

    Your comment indicates you’ve discovered this worldwide network of computers I like to call the Internet. It has news sources, lots of them, many quite good. You should check them out.

    I don’t care if they named Harry Houdini to head CNN, I can’t imagine what he can do to make it relevant given they’ve already sworn off the Fox News or MSNBC political advocacy strategies.

  • USAmerica1st

    He has an uphill battle on his hands in the US in attracting more viewers to his brand.

  • American

    From the man that screwed up NBC, we bring you CNN!

  • Larry

    Funny, I didnt think this is how the zombie apocolypse would begin!

  • Brendan

    @Ralph Hahn – well I don’t think Matt will leave voluntarily. They already have a new producer and just Google it.
    They are setting him up to take the fall for the bad ratings.
    CNN won’t pay him that much money but he’ll “go with dignity”.

  • Steve

    Bill, funny reply! I’ll have to check out that internet thing… Seriously though, watch a half hour edition of BBC World News, and tell me where I can get comparable coverage on the net. One place where I can sit down for 30 minutes, and watch reports on top stories from all over the world, reported by actual journalists, with actual video taken by real correspondents in country, and with intelligent analysis. Sorry, but the hunting around the web here in the US, which has one of the slowest broadband rates of any country in the developed world, just doesn’t cut it.

  • Bill Henry

    Why don’t you tell the truth when you broadcast news, the average person does not care about your biased opinions, thats why you donn’t have good ratings, quit thinking the verage person is an idiot, as sure as you think they are, they will leave your ass sittig on the ground. Quit giving the president a pass when he’s doing wrong. People are tired of your made up garbage, all you show are car accidents or kissing up to the President. I have this to say the CEO, get ready to bury your stations because Zauckerman has built in biases, it’s in his DNA. You are running a news organization, not a cabal to take over the world. Who do you think you cater to, farm workers with no education. Get rid of your F—ing ego.

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