CNN’s Jeff Zucker is staying put through end of 2021

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

CNN’s president Jeff Zucker has announced he’ll stay with the cable network until at least the end of 2021 after months of speculation on his future with the company, the Los Angeles Times first reported.

“The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on now,” he said during an editorial call. Zucker, indicating he since had a “change of heart” and has decided to stay, though he strongly hinted his tenure still has an expiration date by saying, on the same call, he plans to stay for “another year.”

Zucker has been with CNN since 2013, eventually expanding his responsibilities to include both WarnerMedia’s news and sports properties, many of which previously fell under the Turner and Time Warner banners.

Under his leadership, which included an emphasis on a “facts first” marketing campaign, the network grew its ratings to the point where it dethroned Fox’s right leaning cable channel for the top cable news channel, a trend that largely took root after Donald Trump’s defeat in November 2020.

It’s not uncommon for news leadership as well as talent assignments to shuffle after presidential elections, which led to internal and external speculations about Zucker’s future with WarnerMedia.

The move will prevent CNN from seeing significant leadership change, at least immediately, in the months following a pivotal election and key time in ratings.

Of course, ratings can be fickle and no one can predict if CNN will sustain its ratings high through 2021 or beyond.

Zucker has no plans for what he will do after 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported, noting that opportunities will likely expand as the world begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC, NBCUniversal’s cable news channel and CNN competitor, got new president Feb. 1, 2021, after Phil Griffin retired and Rashida Jones took over in a previously announced move.