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CNN Chief Jeff Zucker: “We Have Had A Really Good Year”

By | Tuesday December 24, 2013 @ 2:39pm PST

Jeff-Zucker-NBC__130115225823CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker, who is about to celebrate his first anniversary at the news gathering organization, touted his addition of Anthony Bourdain‘s show and the documentary Blackfish in a holiday memo to staffers, but gave a miss to any discussion of  his new morning program, or the return of Crossfire.

“In 2013, CNN was recognized with three News Emmys, and two first-ever prime time Emmys for Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, as well as a Peabody Award for our coverage in Syria,” Zucker wrote. “And heading into 2014, CNN Films is on the short list for an Academy Award in the Documentary category for Blackfish. In our first year of even having a film division!”

He promised to pick up the pace on his program to broaden the definition of news programming in calendar year 2014. “If you thought we did a lot in 2013, wait until you see 2014,” Zucker wrote. “Real change that transforms an organization doesn’t happen overnight. I have talked a lot about broadening the definition of news. You have seen the start of that, especially at CNN, where we have begun to introduce new series, documentaries and films to augment our best-in-class breaking news coverage.”
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Brian Malarkey Exits ‘The Taste’ As Judge, ABC Seeking Replacement

By | Friday June 28, 2013 @ 3:59pm PDT

The Taste will be returning with one less judge next season. While Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre are set to come back for another bite, ABC has decided not renew Brian Malarkey’s contract for the cooking competition show, sources tell me. Not that The Taste will be slimming down to a trio. “They are looking to find a new judge to replace him,” an insider says. Said Malarkey in a statement to food blog Eater. “Being a part of ABC’s The Taste was a great experience, especially mentoring one of my chefs all the way to the finish line and taking home the win. I am of course disappointed to part ways and not return for Season 2, but onward and upward! I’m looking forward to pursuing future television projects and continuing to grow our restaurant group, which has had its most successful year to date. Austin has welcomed Searsucker with open arms and we’re excited to open a restaurant in Los Angeles at the end of this year”.

While struggling in the ratings over its eight-episode freshman season, The Taste was renewed by ABC on May 14 and actually has an open casting call in LA this weekend for possible Season 2 contestants. Though he has five restaurants in San Diego, others in Texas and Arizona and was a past Top Chef finalist, Malarkey had the least TV experience of the … Read More »

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Jeff Zucker Praises CNN Despite Reporting Error

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 5:07pm PDT

CNN boss Jeff Zucker sent out a brief memo today to staff about coverage of recent news – the Boston Marathon bombings and the Texas fertilizer warehouse – but also slipped in some of his usual self-promotion for putting Anthony Bourdain on the air. (His series Parts Unknown debuted on April 14 to strong ratings.) Zucker owned up to the bad CNN reporting of an arrest when there was none during the bombing story’s early days. “When we made a mistake, we moved quickly to acknowledge it and correct it.” Read Zucker’s words:

April 19, 2013

What a week.

As events unfolded in Boston, and then in Texas, and as they continue to unfold at this very moment in both places, CNN has been there for our audience in every possible way – on television, online and on our mobile platforms. As Wolf would say, that was true for our audiences here in the United States and around the world. For journalists like each of us, these are the times that define what we do and why we do it. All of you, across every division of CNN Worldwide, have done exceptional work. And when we made a mistake, we moved quickly to acknowledge it and correct it. It was important to see CNN,, HLN and CNNI all shine this week, often with different stories and different approaches that make each

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CNN’s ‘Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown’ Debuts Strong

By | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 12:40pm PDT

Badboy chef Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series Parts Unknown was watched by 747,000 viewers last night. The heavily promoted 9 PM Sunday debut of the weekly one-hour show garnered 282,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic for the network. Compared to year to date Sunday averages for CNN that is a 120% increase among the demo and a 62% rise in total viewers. Parts Unknown‘s debut pushed the often ratings challenged CNN to the top primetime spot in the demo on Sunday with 208,000 for the night. That’s ahead of rivals Fox News Channel (141,000 among the 25-54) and MSNBC (160,000 among the 25-54). In terms of total viewership, Parts Unknown was behind the 1.32 million FNC garnered for the special Fox News Reporting: Your Secret’s Out but ahead of the 405,000 MSNBC’s programming got in the time slot. The first episode of the new CNN show saw Bourdain spending time in Myanmar mixing food, politics and culture. Future shows will include visits to LA’s Koreatown, a place Bourdain has been before on other networks, as well as Libya, Canada and Peru. Sunday’s premiere came after a week that saw Bourdain appearing on almost every other show on the Jeff Zucker-run cable news network hyping the new series. Bourdain also got face time as one of CNN’s stars in a full page ad taken out in the New York Times and other publications … Read More »

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Anthony Bourdain’s CNN Series ‘Parts Unknown’ To Premiere April 14

By | Monday March 18, 2013 @ 8:54am PDT

The premiere episode of the new CNN weekend series will feature the chef/travel host headed to Myanmar, and future shows will take him to Libya, Colombia, the Congo and LA’s Koreatown, among other places. Parts Unknown, a one-hour travel and culture series, was set up in May after CNN lured Bourdain away from his oft-Emmy-nominated No Reservations on Travel Channel. The date announcement comes just after the Bourdain co-hosted cooking competition show The Taste wrapped its eight-episode ABC run March 12. Here’s the CNN release:

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, hosted by the world-renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning television personality, premieres on Sunday, April 14, at 9pm, ET.

The one-hour weekend lifestyle series follows Bourdain as he travels the across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Known for his curiosity, candor, and acerbic wit, Bourdain takes viewers off the beaten path of tourist destinations – including some war-torn parts of the world – and meets with a variety of local citizens to offer a window into their lifestyles, and occasionally communes with an internationally lauded chef on his journeys.

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CNN Adds Morgan Spurlock In Hopes To Supersize Weekends

By | Thursday August 23, 2012 @ 7:01am PDT

Take one acerbic chef, now add an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and CNN hopes it has gotten itself a weekend. Fighting against 20-year low ratings, the news network today announced that Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man series will debut in April 2013 on CNN. No stranger to either side of the camera since his 2004 feature debut, the documentary filmmaker will both host and produce the new show. “Like Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series, Inside Man will carry the distinctive stamp of its host while taking viewers on colorful and informative journeys into fascinating corners of American society,” said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide EVP and managing editor today. In late May, the network said that Bourdain, the long time host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations, would be joining CNN to host a weekend travel and food series. There is no indication if the new Spurlock/Bourdain block will run on Saturdays or Sundays. However, a source tells Deadline that these new shows are not expected to affect the network’s current Sunday programming of State Of The Union With Candy Crowley, Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources and the recently reinstated Fareed Zakaria GPS. They are intended to bring some change and some younger viewers to the broadcaster. Read More »

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ABC Orders Cooking Competition ‘The Taste’ With Anthony Bourdain And Nigella Lawson

By | Monday July 9, 2012 @ 1:41am PDT

Produced by Kinetic Content, The Taste will be hosted by no-holds-barred chef Anthony Bourdain and British food star Nigella Lawson. Four culinary experts will each mentor a team of competing pro and amateur cooks as they vie to turn out the tastiest dish. The groups will face team and individual challenges through elimination rounds. ABC has ordered 8 episodes from Seven One International, the international sales arm of Red Arrow Entertainment Group which backs Santa Monica-based Kinetic. In June, the network posted a casting notice for the then-untitled show saying it was on a “nationwide search for all types of cooks from all backgrounds with range of cooking styles.” Bourdain is also readying a new weekend program for CNN that he’ll host in 2013.

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CNN Will Add Chef Anthony Bourdain To 2013 Weekend Programming Recipe

By | Tuesday May 29, 2012 @ 8:24am PDT

World-renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain will join CNN as host of a new weekend program, creating a signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel. The announcement was made by CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor, Mark Whitaker.

“For more than a decade, Anthony Bourdain has been a trailblazer in educating Americans about different cuisines and cultures around the world, as well as an outspoken commentator on social trends ranging from the rise of celebrity chefs to the impact of fast food chains to the spread of vegetarianism and veganism.” said Whitaker. “Examining the world through the prism of Tony’s unique expertise and passions continues CNN’s long-standing commitment to international reporting and to promoting global understanding.”

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