Jeff Zucker Interview…

In a must read, Capital New York’s Mike Allen and Alex Weprin interview Jeff Zucker…

After almost a year of tinkering, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone.

So he is planning much broader changes for the network—including a prime-time shakeup that’s likely to make CNN traditionalists cringe.

Once, CNN’s vanilla coverage was a point of pride. Now, the boss boasts about the ratings for his unscripted series, and documentaries like the Sea World-slamming film Blackfish. 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. I want people to say, ‘You know what? That was interesting. I hadn’t thought of that,’” Zucker said. “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts.”

There’s a lot more there worth reading but I want to highlight this part as it is what I feared would happen back when Zucker’s name was merely just in play as a possible head of CNN.

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6 Responses to “Jeff Zucker Interview…”

  1. It sounds like Zucker (and Time Warner) have given up on CNN being a cable news network. The key line I saw in the interview was that he wanted CNN to attract “viewers who are watching shows like Discovery and History and Nat Geo and A&E”.

    What’s the thing these networks have in common? It’s that they show almost nothing but reality shows and documentaries. In a years time will we be watching CNN to see the latest episodes of ‘Storage Wars’ and ‘Deadliest Catch’ or will it still be the place to go for big breaking news stories? If it’s the former then it’s a sad day for us news junkies and particularly for Ted Turner who started the network and invented the 24/7 news cycle.

    If Zucker gets his way the big winner is not likely to be FNC or MSNB but rather AJAM who are best positioned; because they have the resources and have so few watchers they can only grow; to pick up those viewers who want to watch non news coverage without a distinct POV. I look to see them pick up most of the experienced news talent being jettisoned by CNN as they make the move from a cable news network to a reality show/documentary network.

  2. want to watch non news coverage > should read > want to watch news coverage

  3. icemannyr Says:

    So Zucker wants CNN to be The Weather Channel. Less live hours and more shows.

  4. They just did a nice hourlong about Ted. Seeing him retired on a ranch was pretty much a metaphor for the network he created.

  5. I think Time warner wanted this because they knew his track record… NBC wasn’t in the best condition after Zucker

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