Jeff Zucker at the TCA…

Variety’s Brian Lowry writes about Jeff Zucker’s appearance at the TCA…

CNN chief Jeff Zucker fired back at Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes on Friday, saying his understanding is that an upcoming Ailes biography “confirms what we’ve known along, which is the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.”

Speaking at the TV Critics Assn. tour Friday, Zucker made those remarks in response to an interview Ailes had given in which he said CNN is getting out of the news business. The CNN Worldwide president countered by saying the network remained committed to news but that his goal is to ”broaden the definition of offerings” on the network by including more series and documentary films, such as programs fronted by Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain, as well as the acclaimed documentary “Blackfish.”

Zucker dismissed Ailes’ criticism as “meant to deflect your attention from the book this week” and “silly.” Prior to the session, Zucker also told Variety that CNN would cover the Ailes book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” by Gabriel Sherman, calling it a legitimate news story given the implications of the role Fox News plays in relationship to the Republican Party and national politics.

Ugh…Zucker just painted a giant bullseye on his back that says “Come get me FNC”. Instead of trying to get CNN’s house in order in the most unassuming manner possible Zucker thrust everything he does under FNC PR’s microscope. Everything that comes Zucker’s way from FNC now and into the future can be traced back to this moment. While it will make for fun times for those of us who chronicle the spats between cable networks, it will utlimately prove to be a needlessly un-necessary distraction for CNN.

8 Responses to “Jeff Zucker at the TCA…”

  1. icemannyr Says:

    This is CNN, the network the punts to taped programming 9pm-11pm Thursdays while the other cable news channels air their regular week day shows.

    The CNN Thursday documentary 9pm-11pm and FNC 9pm-11pm got beat in the demo 25-54 by MSNBC.

  2. donnieboston Says:

    It got beat cause most of the usual audience probably expecting a night dedicated to Bridgegate went over to MSNBC, which in the end managed to beat Fox. Zucker may have attracted a trickle of new viewers from Discovery and the likes, but the core audience will always look for live programming on weekday nights, especially when there is some news.

  3. Or particularly the kind of news partisans can get their jollies from.

  4. donnieboston Says:

    ^^That too

  5. In other words, if it’s news you (and Fox) don’t want to hear, it’s for partisans to get their jollies from. Brilliant.

  6. savefarris Says:

    If it’s news they’re looking for, the LAST place they’ll head is MSNBC. Everyone who did tune in was looking for Christie-flavored schadenfreude which they new 30 Rock would have on the menu.

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