Future of CNN boss Jeff Zucker on scandal-ridden network unclear as WarnerMedia and Discovery merger looms


CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia and Discovery are set to merge in 2022 and the bigger question surrounding the multibillion-dollar pact is what the future holds for beleaguered CNN boss Jeff Zucker.

“Jeff is no longer the supreme ruler, as was made clear when they made him fire Cuomo. He has become a handicap with his embarrassing defense of liberal activists like Cuomo, Don Lemon and Jim Acosta,” said at Fox News Digital a longtime executive in the media industry. .

The fate of CNN boss Jeff Zucker following the formalization of the multi-billion dollar merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery remains uncertain. (Getty Images)

The past 12 months have been quite a journey for Zucker, as insiders believe the big CNN boss was unhappy to report to WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who is six years younger than him and more of a streaming expert than journalism. .

In February, Zucker reportedly told CNN staff members that he would continue to oversee the Liberal Network for the remainder of the year, but expected to “move on” when his contract expires at the end of 2021.

CHRIS CUOMO SPOX AFFIRMS THERE WAS “NO SECRETS” BETWEEN BROTHER HELPING THE FIRE STAR, CNN BOSS JEFF ZUCKER

“I’m going to stay and finish my current contract, which like I said will keep me here until the end of this year. At this point I expect to move on,” he said. he said during a call with CNN employees. , according to the New York Times, which quoted a CNN staff member who was on the call.

Many insiders were quick to dismiss the news that Zucker was moving away from CNN, where he is known to be practical and has personally allowed him to move from a fact-based news operation to an opinion platform. hyper-partisan. “He won’t be leaving,” a CNN employee told Fox News Digital at the time.

Months later, WarnerMedia’s impending merger with Discovery was announced and Zucker’s longtime pal, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, was chosen to lead the combined business while Kilar was reportedly shown the door.

Zucker and Zaslav belong to the same prestigious social circle and are said to have “sprawling estates” in New York’s upscale Hamptons, just 10 minutes apart.

“Zucker may now be fortunate enough to work for one of his closest friends in business and life, a golf friend and a confidant who, according to the president of CNN, was” the best friend that one could wish, and I’m lucky he’s mine, ”The New York Times reported in May, noting that Zucker could stay with Kilar outside of the photo.

CNN TERMINATES CHRIS CUOMO “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY”

CNN boss Jeff Zucker and Discovery CEO David Zaslav belong to the same prestigious social circle and are said to have

CNN boss Jeff Zucker and Discovery CEO David Zaslav belong to the same prestigious social circle and are said to have “sprawling estates” in New York’s upscale Hamptons, just 10 minutes one from the other. (Photo by Mike Coppola / Getty Images)
(Mike Coppola / Getty Image)

The Times even called Zucker and Zaslav’s relationship a “bromance,” and it emerged that the CNN boss could remain in power despite the network’s well-documented struggles.

In September, former CNN reporter Dylan Byers cited three network sources who said Zucker would remain in office at least until the merger with Discovery was finalized.

“It remains to be seen whether Zucker stays past that date – in his current role as president of news and sports, or in a senior role -” Byers wrote.

However, 2021 has turned out to be disastrous for Zucker’s network plagued by scandals and contested ratings.

TWITTER EXPLODES AS CNN’S JEFFREY TOOBIN RETURNS AFTER MASTURBATION SCANDAL ZOOM: “THIS IS CNN”

The network allowed legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to return after a hiatus to recover from the humiliation of being caught masturbating on a Zoom call in the workplace last year; the embarrassing incident resulted in his dismissal from the New Yorker but not from CNN. “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake Chris Cuomo was fired by Zucker on Saturday after using industry connections to help his brother Andrew Cuomo fight allegations of sexual misconduct while he was governor of New York , in addition to another sexual harassment charge against the CNN host after he apologized for harassing a coworker during his days on ABC News in 2005.

Zucker once again rocked the morning show “New Day,” but it failed to resonate with viewers. Brooke Baldwin has left the company and called on CNN to put more women in positions of power, and Don Lemon is set to face the man who accused him of sexual assault in court earlier this year next. All the public relations debacles have come as CNN struggles to stay relevant during the Biden era as viewers abandon the network in droves.

Former presenter Brooke Baldwin has asked CNN boss Jeff Zucker to place a woman in the vacant slot that is just before Don Lemon's opinion piece.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for CNN)

Former presenter Brooke Baldwin has asked CNN boss Jeff Zucker to place a woman in the vacant slot that is just before Don Lemon’s opinion piece. (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for CNN)
((Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for CNN))

Zucker was largely supportive of Cuomo before suspending him last week when documents revealed Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s scandal was much larger than previously known. Cuomo was quickly fired over the weekend following an external review, along with a prominent lawyer telling CNN that she represented a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, unrelated to the allegations against her. brother.

A spokesperson for Cuomo texted reporters at The Wall Street Journal stating that there was “no secret” between Zucker and the former host of “Cuomo Prime Time” – a claim denied by CNN.

“It reinforces the reason he was fired for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor,” CNN told Fox News Digital.

Jeff Zucker allowed Chris Cuomo to interview his brother several times during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeff Zucker allowed Chris Cuomo to interview his brother several times during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.

LIBERTY MEDIA PRESIDENT LAUDIT FOX AND CNN CNN TO ‘REALLY HAVE JOURNALISTS’ FOLLOWING AT & T-DISCOVERY MERGER

Radio host Vince Coglianese believes Zucker is not yet clear, noting that Cuomo may be aware of his former boss’s skeletons. In fact, he suggested that Zucker wasn’t even calling the shots and that his best friend, Zaslav, might already be pulling the strings.

“One piece of the story that I think is super interesting, David Zaslav who is the CEO of Discovery was at the meetings last week when they decided to suspend Chris Cuomo. And then after that you have TimeWarner and Discovery in this big merger right now… We’ve seen Brian Stelter… go on the air and pretend Cuomo could be back in a few weeks. I’m starting to think Jeff Zucker is being left out of the conversation, “Coglianese said Monday on” Tucker Carlson Tonight “.

“[Cuomo] was fired on Saturday and Discovery is really concerned about how the government is going to let them handle this merger and Zucker could be shown the exit very soon here, ”Coglianese said.

Indeed, Stelter – who is generally in sync with Zucker – suggested Cuomo could return to CNN after a multi-week suspension, but a CNN spokesperson later dismissed the report as pure speculation.

Uncompromising Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, who sits on the board of Discovery Communications Inc. and is considered extremely powerful in the industry, recently said he wanted CNN to return to its non-partisan journalism days. before Zucker. Insiders have now realized that the business imperatives of the merger, along with Malone’s comments, can lie between longtime friends Zucker and Zaslav.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Malone wants CNN to go back to its tough news roots and Jeff Zucker’s show could end after all,” the longtime media industry executive said.

Fox News Digital has asked both WarnerMedia and Discovery a series of questions, including whether there is a timeline for a decision on Zucker’s fate once the merger is final and whether Zaslav is already taking the lead. Neither company immediately responded.


Comments are closed.