OMG: Report Says Jeff Zucker Plans ‘Massive’ Changes at CNN That Are ‘Likely to Make CNN Traditionalists Cringe’

Dec 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"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.

Jeff Zucker.jpgJeff Zucker

10 Comments

  1. “Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone”
    HUH?
    CNN & HLN were doing just fine until they started leaving news behind with like Nancy Grace.
    But then again, who needs news anyway? What good is an informed and intelligent public? Why should we be burdened with knowing what is going on in the world around us? Why should we be bothered to think when we have FOX and MSNBC to tell us what we really need to know?

  2. If you are regurgitating the same information then cover something that is important instead of celebrity infotainment. If you have 24 hours to fill, why not fill it with say the complex issues like explaining the Patriot Act or Affordable Care Act or some other bill crammed through at night with no one watching or reading it. I guess we must all bow to those with an IQ equivelant to a carrot, our lowest common denominator

  3. Agreed. I’ll be going elsewhere for news. I want to be informed, not entertained. Plenty of other channels and devices for entertainment.

  4. It never felt like actual new anyway. Isn’t is sad that, to get real news about the US, you have to watch BBC, Al Jazerra or even Russia Today.

  5. I miss the days when cable networks stayed true to their mission and their names. Most days I would kill to watch a 1/2 hour newscast like the ones Headline News used to air.
    Well I guess that is why there is Al Jazerra. I’m not going to watch more reality and talk show histrionics on CNN. More unnecessary cable crap.

  6. The trouble with having a favorite sources for news is that you miss a lot. So I check the mainstream news to get what everybody is saying and then check Drudge to make sure I get the stories (especially from the UK) that the mainstream downplays or ignores. I do NOT want to turn back the clock to the old Headline News, because it ignored a lot of news that didn’t fit the politics of Ted Turner.

  7. You’re right.
    And isn’t it just a damn shame?

  8. Zucker’s idea of overhauling is to add a couch to the set. Incredibly, he’s actually made CNN worse since his arrival.

  9. Jeff Zucker knows only one thing…IF I want to watch the TODAY Show, I’ll turn on NBC in the mornings.
    CNN is turning into the Cable Snooze Network…too bad for all of us.
    Zucker will some day soon be found out and thrown out…his quest for ratings and viewer shares at the cost of meaningful CONTENT will come back to devour him.
    Unfortunately by that time CNN and apparently HLN too, will be mere shadows of what they once were.
    Peter Bright

  10. Jeff “Doogie Hauser” Zucker was the genius who crashed NBC’s Prime into the toilet. Now. he’ll pull the same stunt
    at CNN. Sell your stock, kids..before Doogie starts CNN running 5 nights of Leno reruns.

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