CNN To Launch Overhauled ‘Crossfire’ Same Night ABC Launches Overhauled ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Tapping into viewer interest that gets ginned up around the start of the broadcast network TV season, Jeff Zucker’s CNN announced this morning it’ll launch some of its most interesting new programs on Monday, September 16. … Read More »

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Jeff Zucker On ‘Today’: It’s The Talent, Stupid

Don’t tinker with the Today Show lineup — fix the talent non-chemistry, the franchise’s former exec producer Jeff Zucker advised NBC today. “The key to all of those programs, and we … Read More »

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CNN Chief Jeff Zucker Ignores Pundits, Gives Himself High Marks For Zimmerman Trial Coverage

By | Friday July 12, 2013 @ 1:50pm PDT

CNN chief Jeff Zucker patted himself on the back again Friday — this time in re the amount of time his network has spent covering the George Zimmerman murder trial, instead of covering the coup in Egypt at the height of that unrest. “A bunch of bunk” is how he described the nicking his network has received at the hands of industry navel-lint gazers. “I feel increasingly comfortable and confident that we got it in the right balance,” Zucker said this morning at the IESE Business School, as reported by the AP. Industry critics are unused to the likes of Zucker at CNN; he’s a master of promotion, and this marks the second time he’s publicly patted himself on the back while critics howl, since he took over at CNN six months ago. Last time was during the network’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, during which the network suffered one of its biggest embarrassments ever when John King incorrectly reported an arrest had been made.

Last week, as the Egypt crisis came to a head, CNN International focused almost entirely on that situation while CNN domestically stayed laser-focused on the murder trial of Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer. CNN’s coverage continued Friday, and when the jury began deliberations, the network boasted that its Martin Savidge scored the first in-depth interview with Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, in which he discussed why he took the case, his first impressions upon meeting Zimmerman, “and his thoughts on race and its effects on the case.” CNN has done well, ratings-wise, with Zimmerman coverage — though not as well, naysayers note, as the cabler did in the second quarter in some dayparts. Read More »

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CNN’s ‘New Day’ Snags 302,000 Viewers On Average In Week 1

By | Monday June 24, 2013 @ 2:04pm PDT

In its first week on CNN, New Day averaged 302,000 viewers, which is up compared to same week last year — when CNN was suffering record lows. But compared to CNN’s performance in the early-morning time period in … Read More »

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CNN’s ‘New Day’ Debut Up In Demo But Still Last Among Cable Rivals

By | Tuesday June 18, 2013 @ 2:25pm PDT

Well, looks like New Day has one bright spot in the morning for CNN. The jewel in Jeff Zucker’s rebranded network crown debuted yesterday down 7% in viewers but up 19% in the adults 25-54 … Read More »

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CNN’s ‘New Day’ On Battling ‘Fox & Friends’

By | Sunday June 16, 2013 @ 2:20pm PDT

Jeff Zucker has said that he’d consider CNN’s new morning show New Day a success if it beat the news network’s previous AM offerings in the ratings. That’s setting the bar pretty low for New Day which debuts at 6 AM ET on June 17 with recent ABC News transplant Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan as hosts, former KTLA morning show anchor Michaela Pereira as the news anchor and former Good Morning America chief Jim Murphy as Senior Executive Producer. Year to date Early Start and Starting Point averaged 308,000 total viewers and 123,000 in the Adults 25-54 demo from 6 AM to 9 AM for CNN. While up from last year, those numbers are still behind their cable rivals’ AM shows and way behind what the Big 3 networks pull in on their morning shows. On cable news, MSNBC’s Morning Joe has had 400,000 viewers and 139,000 among 25-54s YTD and Fox News Channel’s long time top spot Fox And Friends has averaged 1.141 million viewers and 274,000.

Related: Sarah Palin Returns To Fox News On June 17

While CNN’s ratings have been up in recent months after hitting lows last year, the network’s track record of debuts hasn’t been so good since Zucker took over in late January. Almost all of the new shows or experiments that CNN has attempted of late have premiered poorly with the exception of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – and that wasn’t a Zucker baby like New Day has been for the former Today boss who has said that CNN will more “broadly” define what news is. Deadline spoke with Bolduan and Cuomo as well as Murphy (who was at Anderson Cooper’s syndicated talk show until this January) recently about the expectations for the show, fighting Fox & Friends, how much Zucker’s was involved with the new show, CNN’s bump and the difference between cable and network news.

DEADLINE: From the time that Jeff Zucker took over at CNN he said that a morning show was a top priority, so how is New Day going to get CNN some traction in the morning?
MURPHY: It’s going get some traction by being a very good morning news program. Without giving away too much, I would say that what you should expect is a very busy, energetic, story filled and information filled, fast moving, interesting morning news program with a broad range of stories and topics and a lot of resources from CNN helping to lift it up and cover a lot of things.

DEADLINE: OK, but, Jim, Chris and Kate, are you guys going to beat Fox and Friends?
BOLDUAN: We’re not going into it with the goal of beating Fox & Friends. We’re going into it with the goal of making a news program that we are proud of and that we want to watch. And that’s our goal. And do we want to improve our ratings? Do we want people to watch our show? Absolutely. We wouldn’t be in the business if we didn’t. Is there a perfect formula that we can apply with a surefire win in the ratings game? No. If I had that recipe I could sell it for a lot of money. So we are going to, first and foremost, put on a strong news program, a show that we ourselves will be proud of and want to watch, and we’re also allowing ourselves flexibility to evolve the show. Day one is not going to look like day one hundred and one. And that’s where our focus will be. And we’re not going to be picking a partisan angle. That’s not what CNN does and this is a news program that will stick very firmly with the CNN brand of news. Read More »

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Trio Depart ‘Katie’ As New EP Takes Reins

By | Monday June 10, 2013 @ 6:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Katie Couric‘s syndicated daytime talk show will be entering its second season with an entirely new team of senior producers and a director. Two weeks after Rachel Miskowiec was brought in as new executive producer, she has made a staffing changes, with co-executive producers Kathy Samuels and Ethan Nelson as well as director Joseph Terry departing. Katie launched last fall with Jeff Zucker as executive producer and Samuels and Michael Bass as co-exec producers. Zucker and Bass have since left for CNN, with Michael Morrison and Nelson joining in January as executive producer and co-exec producer, respectively. (Matt Strauss also was bumped to co-EP then.) Morrison left late last month, replaced by Miskowiec, who is expected to install her own team.

Related: Katie Couric Was Courted To Return To ‘Today’: Video

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D11 Confab: Jeff Zucker Slams Fox News & MSNBC, Says CNN Covers “More”

By | Wednesday May 29, 2013 @ 1:09pm PDT

“Those two channels are covering political news. We’re covering politics and much more,” Jeff Zucker said today of Fox News and MSNBC. “Our competition now is two political channels that have actually left most of the actual news coverage to the side,” he also said. The CNN chief was appearing Wednesday with IAC chair Barry Diller at this year’s D11 conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes. “News is how you define it, we define it broadly as news and information. We’re expanding the audience that is watching CNN. In order to be successful, we need to bring new viewers,” he added stressing that elements of CNN programming have more in common now with Discovery and Nat Geo than FNC and MSNBC. “The key to us is to make CNN essential on whatever platform it is on,” Zucker noted. He added that his cable news rivals “do a good job” at what they cover.

Related: Barry Diller Confirms Newsweek Is For Sale, Says Aereo Expanding Further

“Protecting the brand is the key and one of the things I’ve been so warmed by is how strong and vibrant the CNN brand continues to be even when their ratings have not been what they used to be,” Zucker responded to a question from the audience about some of the less than hard news stories the network has covered since he took over. “I don’t think that hurt the CNN brand, he said of the network’s extensive coverage of the crippled Carnival Triumph cruise liner earlier this year. Zucker also was on the defensive about errors that CNN have made under his watch. “We made a mistake in Boston and we corrected it within 45 minutes of airing. The Boston Globe, who I think will probably win the Pulitzer Prize for their Boston coverage, didn’t correct for hours,” he said of the cable news network’s incorrect on-air assertion that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing case.

Related: CNN’s Jeff Zucker Says News & Generational Change Will Mark ‘New Day’ Read More »

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CNN Adds Former KNBC Anchor Stephanie Elam As LA Correspondent

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 1:49pm PDT

Stephanie Elam is returning to her old home at CNN, the network said today. The former NYC-based business reporter for the cable news network will now serve as a correspondent based out of LA. Elam joined … Read More »

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CNN’s Jeff Zucker Says News And Generational Change Will Mark ‘New Day’

The morning newscast, which launches June 17, is a top priority for the CNN chief. And while it won’t break the mold, Jeff Zucker says in a briefing today that the effort will stand out over time by blending hard news with a relatively young anchor team featuring Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, and news anchor Michaela Pereira. When he ran NBC’s Today Show “we did play with a lot of gimmicks. Cooking segments and outdoor concerts. Those are not going to be part of this kind of program…People are coming to CNN for the news.” Zucker says New Day won’t try to mimic MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “Its success has been with an elite audience but not with a broad audience. We’re not after a niche audience.” He praised the news focus of CBS This Morning but says New Day will have “a slightly different tone that you’ll get from a new generation.” He hopes to get a jump on his rivals by starting New Day at 6 AM. “The one time of day when people don’t necessarily know what’s happening is when they wake up,” he says. Read More »

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Jeff Zucker’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360′ Experiment Ends In 4th Place For Week

By | Friday May 3, 2013 @ 4:47pm PDT

Anderson Cooper 360 may have had a new format at 10 PM on CNN this week, but it didn’t have many viewers. The new panel-style show that ran Monday-Thursday was the least-watched broadcast on cable news in the time slot and the second-lowest in the adults 25-54 demographic. The show had a coatless Cooper debating with permanent panelists Amy Holmes of The Blaze, CNN’s Jeffery Tobin and Christiane Amanpour, plus Andrew Sullivan, Anthony Bourdain, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher, and ex-Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria joining on separate days. On average over the week, the revamped AC 360 garnered 503,000 viewers, and 167,000 in the demo. In terms of viewership, the latest experiment of the Jeff Zucker regime was behind Fox News’ On The Record (1.436 million viewers/206,000 in demo), MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (654,000 viewers/146,000 in demo) and CNN sister station HLN’s After Dark (588,000 viewers/194,000 in demo), according to Nielsen. The temporary new AC 360 had one win — beating Last Word in adults 25-54 — but that pales when compared to the double-digit drop the show saw compared with the week before: From Monday-Thursday, AC 360 down 32% in viewership and 34% in the demo from the 10 PM edition of AC 360’s performance April 22-25. Read More »

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CNN Sets Summer Debut For ‘New Day’ Morning Show

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 6:24am PDT

CNN”s new morning show finally has a name and a debut date. New Day will premiere June 10, the news network announced today. Hosted by Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira, the show that Jeff Zucker hopes … Read More »

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HLN Planning ‘Evening Express’ Replacement With New Pilot?

By | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 3:21pm PDT

CNN isn’t the only place Jeff Zucker is looking to make changes, it seems. Sister network HLN could be getting at least one new show from the new regime, I’ve learned. Coming off a ratings and viewership surge from the Jodi Arias trial, the network is looking to hold on to some of those numbers with a possible replacement for its 5-7 PM show Evening Express. Last week, HLN shot a newsmagazine pilot in Atlanta going by the working title of EXP 2.0. Weekend Express’ Natasha Curry, Atlanta traffic reporter Elle Duncan, and Carlos Diaz, the sports anchor on the network’s Morning Express With Robin Meade, hosted. Frequent CNN and HLN contributor Jawn Murray as well as Atlanta talk-show host Kim Gravel also were tapped for on-air roles on the pilot. Other elements were shot earlier in the month, sources say. Angela Massie, current executive producer of Evening Express, produced the new show. 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 … Read More »

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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 … Read More »

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CNN’s Jeff Zucker Poaches ‘Katie’ Producer Michael Bass

By | Sunday April 14, 2013 @ 6:45pm PDT

Jeff Zucker continues to staff up at his new CNN post, this time with a producer he’d already put in place at the Katie Couric talk show. Even though Zucker still retains ownership in Katie. A network insider confirms to … Read More »

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CNN Launching New Interview Series This Summer; CBC Host To Front

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Maybe there’s a Canadian quota at CNN. Just days after longtime business correspondent Ali Velshi exited for Al Jazeera America, the cable news network has brought the CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos on board to host … Read More »

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CNN Takes Out NYT “Reintroduce Ourselves” Ad; Look Who’s Left Out

By | Monday April 8, 2013 @ 5:33pm PDT

It’s not getting much traction on air, so perhaps the Jeff Zucker-run CNN can find it in print. Unlike AMC’s full-page New York Times ad last week boasting about its The Walking Dead ratings, CNN’s “reintroduce ourselves” ad had no ratings results to brag about and no … Read More »

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CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ Back In June; Cancelled In 2005

By | Saturday April 6, 2013 @ 3:44pm PDT

After the failed week long experiment of (Get To) The Point and the unsteady The Lead With Jake Tapper, Jeff Zucker is looking for a blast from the … Read More »

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