Feature: How Jeff Zucker Made CNN Great Again

 by New York Bureau Chief, Variety.com 
August 2 1016  10 am PDT

t’s the second day of the Democratic National Convention, and Jeff Zucker is huddled with his CNN staff on the ground in Philadelphia.  Unlike most cable news network chiefs, he is painstakingly involved with the minutiae of hourly coverage, from producing debates to running the channel’s daily editorial meeting.  His leadership style could be best described as a zealous professor of a political theory class, pushing his producers for smarter takes on stories.  Today, he’s assuming the role of decider-in-chief in CNN’s office — a makeshift trailer adjacent to the convention gates, where, in just a few hours, the delegates will crown Hillary Clinton as the party’s first female presidential candidate.



  1. The timestamp on that article (March 2 1016) suggests a time warp.

    That (and political leanings) aside, I agree with the writer. CNN’s convention coverage was technically excellent. The guest lineup was varied and interesting. The concept of the CNN Grill, the segment with Don Lemon, was very well done and must-watch TV for those who can’t get enough of the spectacle that is the American political system.

    The TV coverage has drawn me to the CNN channel on SiriusXM.

    Yes, I’d say that CNN “is great again.”

  2. CNN’s ratings have improved, but at the cost of the network’s journalistic integrity. It used to be that CNN only gave wall-to-wall coverage of natural catastrophes and truly epic events such as 9/11. Under Zucker, they’ve gone full tilt into virtually 24/7 coverage of missing airliners, police killings of unarmed blacks, terrorist attacks abroad plus, more recently, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    Coverage of important political, cultural events inside and outside of the US has pretty well disappeared during prime time. For the most part, even morning and early afternoon news programming sticks to variations of the themes covered from 1pm EST onwards.

    Of all media, I hold CNN most responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. They gave a hefty percentage of the estimated $2 billion in free airtime he was accorded in the 10 months prior to becoming presumptive nominee.

    Of course, Zucker and Trump trod the boards together at NBC for many of the Apprentice years. It pains me to see journalists with the stature of Blitzer, Tapper and Cooper reduced to huckstering these topics du jour that have very little to do with people’s real lives and the socio-economic trends that are stoking citizen rage.

  3. While I’m ranting, why doesn’t Shaw Cable offer CNN International? I’d pay for that in a nano-second to get an American take on the world and, just as importantly, the world’s take on the Excited States of America.

  4. I have to comment on this guy and CCN. Its gone way downhill and is so slanted to make sure Hillary Clinton wins this Presidential Race. Its so obvious, whether its live on tv or on-line. If you have ever checked out rt.com, news straight from the Kremlin, very anti-west slant. CNN waves the flag for the Democrats. Bernie Sanders never had a chance because CNN was part of the problem, very one sided views and way more live feeds following Hillary and her supporters.


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