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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.

Go deeper

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.