Jeff Zucker officially named President of CNN Worldwide

By Daniel S Levine,

CNN has officially named Jeff Zucker as its new leader. He will take over the position in January 2013.

Phil Kent, the CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., made the announcement Thursday morning.

As President of CNN Worldwide, Zucker will oversee CNN’s 23 businesses, including HLN, CNN.com, CNN/US and CNN International. The former NBCUniversal chief executive will report to Kent. Although the company is based in Atlanta, Zucker will work in New York.

“Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success,” Kent said in a statement. “He built and sustained the number-one brand in morning news, and under his watch NBC’s signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism. As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN. I couldn’t be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here.”

Zucker worked at NBC for 25 years, starting with the 1988 Summer Olympics. He became the executive producer for The Today Show in 1992, helping overseeing the show during the height of its success. He became chief executive of NBCUniversal in 2000. He recently worked with Katie Couric as executive producer on her syndicated talk show, Katie.

Zucker was considered a frontrunner for the job after Jim Walton announced that he would be stepping down. Earlier this week, several reports suggested that Zucker had been picked after talks heated up in recent weeks.

“I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN,” Zucker added.

Zucker will have his hands full at CNN, since the network has struggled to retain viewers while the audience for MSNBC and Fox News continues to climb.



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