OMG: Report Says Jeff Zucker Plans 'Massive' Changes at CNN That Are 'Likely to Make CNN Traditionalists Cringe' CapitalNewYork
"After almost a year of tinkering, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone," reports CapitalNewYork.com, adding, "So he is planning much broader changes for the network -- including a prime-time shakeup that’s likely to make CNN traditionalists cringe."
The article reports: "Zucker, in his first one-on-one interview since taking control of CNN last January, told Capital he wants news coverage 'that is just not being so obvious.' Instead, he wants more of 'an attitude and a take.'
"'We're all regurgitating the same information,' Zucker says. 'I want people to say, "You know what? That was interesting. I hadn't thought of that." The goal for the next six months is that we need more shows and less newscasts.'"
The report notes that Zucker "wants the network to attract 'viewers who are watching places like Discovery and History and Nat Geo and A&E.' Zucker notes that 'the overall cable news audience has not grown in the last 12 years, OK? So, all we're doing is trading [audience] share. … We also want to broaden what people can expect from CNN.'"
The article adds: "The No. 1 show on CNN is now 'Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,' a travel-adventure show featuring the bad-boy celebrity chef. Zucker said that inside CNN, his formula has finally been accepted 'because people have seen the results.'"
The Capital story also notes: "Among the prime-time possibilities Zucker is considering at CNN: half-hour shows, perhaps including one for Bill Weir, recently hired from ABC."
Zucker also envisions big changes for CNN sibling network HLN: "HLN 'really just had a great year from an audience standpoint,' he said, but: 'It's not as strong a business proposition, and it's not really what advertisers are looking for. If we wanted to be in the court business, Time Warner would have kept Court TV.'"
We urge you to click on the link in our first paragraph above and read the entire original article at CapitalNewYork.com. And a tip of the TVWeek cap to our good friend Lisa de Moraes, who wrote about the Capital story at Deadline.com -- we would not have found the Capital story otherwise.