CNN boss Jeff Zucker is captain of sinking ship amid a number of scandals, scores woes: critics


Fox Information media analyst Howard Kurtz reviews the newest on ‘Particular Report’ on the Cuomo controversy as Chris Cuomo resigns from his SiriusXM radio present.

Embattled CNN boss Jeff Zucker’s liberal community is affected by scandal, embarrassing headlines and struggles to draw an viewers as critics surprise if the TV honcho is on skinny ice.  

Zucker was pressured to fireplace star anchor Chris Cuomo, after months of defending him in any respect prices, welcomed authorized analyst Jeffrey Toobin again to CNN after he was terminated from his different job for masturbating on a Zoom name in entrance of colleagues, and enlisted anchor Alisyn Camerota to grill Toobin on the small print upon his return. Former anchor Brooke Baldwin referred to as on CNN to interchange Cuomo with a lady after years of Zucker overseeing the one main cable information community with out a feminine primetime host. 

CNN host Don Lemon has additionally been accused of a sexually charged assault however denies all wrongdoing, and a prime producer on the community was charged by a grand jury in Vermont Friday « with three counts of utilizing a facility of interstate commerce to try to entice minors to have interaction in illegal sexual exercise. »

CNN boss Jeff Zucker’s liberal community is affected by scandal, embarrassing headlines and has struggled to draw an viewers. (Getty Photos) (Getty Photos)


CNN senior producer John Griffin was arrested by the FBI after being charged with stunning intercourse crimes with women as younger as seven years outdated and an unsealed doc supplies vulgar particulars of the alleged crimes. He faces a doable life sentence.

« Given the sheer variety of public sexual misconduct allegations – from harassment and little one sexual violence to abusing one’s journalistic credentials to attempt to silence ladies who’ve made allegations – it’s honest to ask whether or not these are indicative of a broader cultural rot on the community that’s being papered over as they concentrate on different priorities, » journalist Drew Holden instructed Fox Information Digital. 

The humiliating headlines proceed to pour in as Zucker’s community has struggled to draw an viewers in the course of the Biden period, indicating his hosts and anchors have issues on and off the display. The Spectator’s Washington editor Amber Athey, a former media reporter, feels present CNN brass merely « has no thought » easy methods to run a information group. 

« Zucker has managed to concurrently defend perverts and pedophiles in addition to oversee an enormous decline in scores, » Athey instructed Fox Information Digital. 


November was CNN’s lowest-rated month amongst primetime complete viewers since 2015. The struggling community’s hottest present, « Anderson Cooper 360, » completed No. 24 total amongst cable information, behind 15 Fox Information and eight MSNBC packages in the course of the news-heavy month. 

CNN senior producer John Griffin was charged by a grand jury in Vermont Friday "with three counts of utilizing a facility of interstate commerce to try to entice minors to have interaction in illegal sexual exercise." (Twitter)

DePauw college professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall thinks Zucker must personal « moral lapses » at CNN. 

« CNN is unquestionably struggling by means of a string {of professional} blunders. It will be troublesome to essentially join all of those errors on to Zucker, however he’s nonetheless the pinnacle of CNN and in some unspecified time in the future must be held accountable for what is going on on there, » McCall instructed Fox Information Digital. 

« He’s chargeable for the tradition through which underlings felt these misjudgments have been OK. Other than the string {of professional} missteps, it could appear Zucker ought to no less than shoulder accountability for the cratering scores of this once-proud information group, » McCall added. « The scores struggles alone at this channel ought to trigger concern within the higher hierarchy of CNN’s mother or father firm. »


Zucker has additionally did not convey relevance to its long-suffering morning present « New Day, » the place Griffin – who’s due in courtroom Wednesday following accusations he coerced mother and father to permit their minor daughters to have interaction in sexual exercise in his residence – was a longtime producer. « New Day » averaged a dismal 363,000 day by day viewers throughout November, making it cable information’ forty second most-popular program. Zucker, who rose to prominence overseeing NBC’s « In the present day » in the course of the Matt Lauer period, launched « New Day » with the hopes of repeating his morning present magic at CNN. 

November was CNN’s lowest-rated month amongst primetime complete viewers since 2015. (Picture by J. Countess/Getty Photos) (Picture by J. Countess/Getty Photos)

When it launched in 2013, « New Day » was purported to emerge as CNN’s flagship morning program, akin to NBC’s extremely profitable « In the present day » however with edginess that would solely occur on cable. Nonetheless, Zucker’s try and create a preferred morning present at CNN has been a flop. 

« New Day » has by no means averaged 700,000 viewers for a yr and undergone a number of lineup adjustments, all whereas launching the CNN profession of Cuomo who was finally shifted to primetime earlier than being terminated.

CNN fired Cuomo this month after a quick suspension, following reviews that his involvement together with his brother Andrew Cuomo’s political protection towards sexual harassment allegations was way more intensive than beforehand identified. Final week, Zucker addressed the beautiful firing at a city corridor with staffers.

« In hindsight he might have taken motion sooner however [the] outcome he’s comfy with, » an insider instructed Fox Information Digital about Zucker’s phrases to CNN workers. 

Zucker had beforehand chosen to not formally reprimand Cuomo when information first got here to gentle that he’d helped his brother, the previous New York governor, collaborating in technique calls with prime aides as he confronted a number of accusations of sexual misconduct. CNN’s Cuomo had additionally been allowed to do pleasant interviews together with his brother on the outset of the pandemic, regardless of his clear battle of curiosity. The on-air household banter, which as soon as famously included prop comedy, was extensively mocked by critics, and girls who spoke out towards the siblings have since stated their on-air routine was the final straw. 

Former anchor Brooke Baldwin referred to as on CNN to interchange Chris Cuomo with a lady after years of Jeff Zucker overseeing the one main cable information community with out a feminine primetime host. 

The laundry checklist of scandals, debacles and public relations nightmares has come on the fallacious time for Zucker, because it coincides with uncertainty over his future with the liberal information community. In February, the high-powered Zucker reportedly instructed CNN staffers he would proceed to supervise the struggling community for the rest of the yr however anticipated to « transfer on » when his contract expires on the finish of 2021. 


Many insiders dismissed the information that Zucker would stroll away from CNN, the place he’s identified to be hands-on and has personally allowed it to float from a just-the-facts information operation to a hyperpartisan opinion platform. « He ain’t leaving, » a CNN worker earlier instructed Fox Information Digital.  

Months later, WarnerMedia’s looming merger with Discovery was introduced and Zucker’s longtime pal and {golfing} buddy, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, was chosen to run the mixed enterprise. It has since been reported that Zucker would stick round no less than by means of the completion of the merger with Discovery and possibly longer with Zaslav on the helm. 

CNN boss Jeff Zucker and Discovery CEO David Zaslav run in the identical prestigious social circle and reportedly have "sprawling estates" within the posh Hamptons space of New York which are solely 10 minutes aside from one another.  (Mike Coppola/Getty Picture)

However hard-charging Liberty Media chairman John Malone, who sits on the Discovery Communications Inc. board of administrators and is taken into account highly effective within the business, not too long ago stated he desires CNN to return to its pre-Zucker days of nonpartisan journalism.

« I want to see CNN evolve again to the type of journalism that it began with, and truly have journalists, which might be distinctive and refreshing, » Malone stated on CNBC in November. 


Final week, a longtime media govt instructed Fox Information Digital that enterprise imperatives tied to the looming merger, together with Malone’s suggestions, might seal Zucker’s destiny. 

« Malone desires CNN to return to its arduous information roots and the Jeff Zucker present could also be ending in spite of everything, » the longtime media business govt stated. 

CNN’s Chris Cuomo carried out prop comedy together with his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo throughout a extensively panned section in 2020. 

NewsBusters deputy managing editor Nicholas Fondacaro agrees, pointing to Discovery executives reportedly being round CNN headquarters when Cuomo was suspended. 

« It’s affordable to take a position Zucker is on skinny ice, » Fondacaro instructed Fox Information Digital, noting that Cuomo’s suspension became a firing after Zucker reportedly met with Discovery management. 


CNN’s in-house media pundit Brian Stelter, identified to be a Zucker ally, advised Cuomo may return to CNN after a weeks-long suspension, however a CNN spokesperson later dismissed the report as pure hypothesis.  

« Stelter appeared to imagine every little thing could be enterprise as standard in Zuckerland and predicted Cuomo could be again in January. And given how the suspension occurred, Zaslav may need been following the interior investigation intently and made the decision to fireplace him, » Fondacaro stated. 

« He might have been flying underneath the radar to his fellow WarnerMedia executives with all kinds of excuses, starting from outrage and criticism of the community was coming from the right-wing fringes, » Fondacaro continued. « However given current feedback from Discovery high-ups corresponding to John Malone, they might not be shopping for it anymore and have Zucker underneath a microscope. » 

Fox Information’ David Rutz and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

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