CNN Worldwide Topper Change Coming?

In your must read of the day, The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson writes about CNN’s situation. Atkinson is packing heat and her mag is full. There’s this about a possible change at the very top…

Such a rating meltdown demands action and TW higher- ups are brainstorming for ideas for new management candidates with an eye on potentially replacing Jim Walton, who runs CNN Worldwide, several sources said.

The 53-year old executive’s contract is said to end on Dec. 31. Nothing will happen before the Nov. 6 elections The Post has learned.

And this about CNN’s ad revenue…

CNN’s ad revenue growth over the last two years is roughly 12 percent — the smallest increase of any of its rivals, including younger sibling Headline News, which saw ad revenue grow 20 percent in the period.

“Its being looked at very hard by [Time Warner CEO] Jeff Bewkes,” said one source who is familiar with TW’s thinking, adding, [Turner’s] “Phil [Kent] has stuck by Walton through thick and thin. Until recently they had a good business story going for them, but they’re having to do a lot of make-goods.”

Other cable news outlets are doing make-goods, too.

And this very ominous news…

Several news business high-ups say one name being floated internally to come in and revive CNN ratings is Jeff Zucker, the former NBCUniversal boss. Zucker is friendly with both Bewkes and corporate adviser, Gary Ginsberg. The Zucker prospect has rattled some in the executive ranks. No outreach has occurred around that idea.

In any case, Zucker is tied to Walt Disney Co. until at least early next year, as exec producer of “Katie.” Zucker did not return a call for comment.

If there’s just even a hint of truth that Time Warner is mulling Jeff Zucker as a replacement, that shows you just how desperate Time Warner really is because Zucker would be a bigger disaster for CNN and everything it holds dear than leaving things the status quo.

And then there’s this anonymous grumbling…

Meanwhile, CNN insiders are also carping about the hiring of chef Anthony Bourdain to record a weekend show as editorial staff are being downsized. “People were like, ‘whaaaat?’ They’re eliminating reporters and replacing them with a food guy?”

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2 Responses to “CNN Worldwide Topper Change Coming?”

  1. Would be interesting to see how CNN would do if they actually were politically neutral rather than just pretending. The Left isn’t interested in them as they can get real red meat at MSNBC. The Right is irritated by their obvious coy ploy. The daytime hosts are all Obama fan club members. The fact one of their former top news managers now runs Current is no coincidence. Bringing the inventors of NBC-leaning Whitaker and Zucker makes the bias clear.

  2. I agree, hiring Zucker would be a trainwreck. Why does CNN commit the same mistakes over and over and still expect a different result? If at first you don’t succeed, double down on your stupidity, I guess. Tell me, is there anything that CNN holds dear anymore? I really wonder. Surely, these guys can broaden their search and pick someone outside the incestuous group of media exec starlets. Let’s just let Zucker be with his Couric chatfest dayside show and leave it at that. C’mon CNN, now you have the chance to shake things up, do it for Pete’s sake.

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