Win McNamee / AP
Per NYT Magazine, Donald Trump considered giving Fox exclusive rights to televise the inauguration, after being continuously frustrated by other networks' coverage of him during and after the campaign.
CNN president Jeff Zucker says he intervened after hearing Jared Kushner might broker an exclusive deal with Rupert Murdoch. He called Trump and said, "This is crazy ... You're just going to give your inaugural coverage to your base of support? It makes no sense."
Some context: Zucker and Trump have long had a mutually beneficial relationship:
- As then-president of NBC, Zucker decided to give real estate mogul his own primetime show, "The Apprentice," which ranked in the top 100 TV series each year Trump was host. Years later Zucker's CNN has continued to experience a significant "Trump bump" in ratings.
- There's no question that CNN's airtime helped propel Trump to the Republican nomination. While Trump has repeatedly bashed the network, calling it "fake news" and dismissing their reporting, he recognizes its value in promoting his agenda. Buzzfeed reported last week that Trump has been quietly asking his surrogates to try to get booked on CNN.