CNN is doing poorly. It’s the red-headed stepchild of a massive media conglomerate that isn’t performing very well.
Jeff Zucker originally took over CNN planning to turn it into infotainment by subtracting the news. Then along came the Trump era, and Zucker instead turned it into talking heads screaming about the latest Trump scandal. Now the tide has gone out and there’s not much left.
CNN’s ratings are terrible and its programming appeals to literally no one.
That’s why firing Chris Cuomo, once all but impossible, became a no-brainer. The supposed ethical issues became a good excuse for clearing the deck. But there’s no reason to think that clearing the deck will end with Cuomo. Why not clear the deck of Zucker too? And Cuomo is happy to leverage the excuse for his firing to also fire Zucker.
Canned CNN host Chris Cuomo has fired back at the network — accusing his boss of knowing everything about his involvement in trying to quash ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sex scandal.
In a new statement, a spokesman for the fallen TV star threw his longtime ally CNN President Jeff Zucker under the bus, while insisting the journalist “has the highest level of admiration and respect” for him.
“They were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother,” the spokesman told the Wall Street Journal Sunday of Chris Cuomo’s shady support for his big brother as the governor’s sex scandal unfolded.
“There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest,” the spokesman added.
CNN appears to be denying the accusation.
The statement, however, prompted CNN to slam Chris Cuomo for peddling more alleged lies.
“He has made a number of accusations that are patently false,” the network told the WSJ. “This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.”
Which means it’s probably true.
Zucker may have known that Cuomo was advising his brother on his response (at which point he should have been taken off the air), but not that he was helping him by using his contacts to conduct opposition research. It’s a distinction, but not with much of a difference. Anyone in New York media who knew the Cuomo team knew that helping them with the response would mean going after the accusers.
If Zucker’s smart, he’ll retire shortly and launch some sort of e-venture before transitioning back to conventional programming. If he’s dumb, he’ll stick around long enough to be fired.