Feb 4, 2021 - Economy

CNN boss Jeff Zucker says he'll stay until end of 2021

Jeff Zucker

Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said on a staff-wide call Thursday morning that he plans to stay with the network until his contract expires at the end of 2021.

Why it matters: Zucker's tenure at CNN has been debated among media insiders for years. The TV boss has reportedly been eyeing an exit from the network for some time.

  • Zucker has been president of CNN Worldwide since 2013. He was named chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports in March 2019, following the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T in 2018.
  • Zucker led the network during a contentious period, with former President Trump frequently demonizing CNN to his followers. Under Zucker's leadership, the network leaned into that tension, placing more anti-Trump opinion-like programming in primetime.

The big picture: CNN saw a ratings boost in mid-January during President Biden's inauguration and in the week following the Capitol attack. It's unclear whether the Biden administration will bring a substantial lift to ratings overall, as ratings fell in primetime after news surrounding the insurrection subsided.

  • Still, the January bright spots were an indicator that CNN has some running room following consistent beats by Fox News during the Trump era.
  • Zucker's departure at the end of 2021 could come amid a ratings resurgence, should CNN be able to continue to find ratings streaks during the first year of the Biden administration.

What's next: Zucker hasn't indicated what he plans to do when and if he leaves CNN, but the former NBC Universal executive has previously suggested that he would consider getting into politics.

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