Like one of the many natural disasters reported on by CNN, the arrival of Jeff Zucker as the network's new Worldwide president is already having a major impact.
A former CEO of NBC Universal, Zucker's first official move last week was to hire long-time ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols and build a new weekend sports program around her, premiering later this year. "We're just thrilled that a sports journalist of Rachel's stature and expertise will now be a regular part of the CNN lineup," said Zucker on Thursday. "Her arrival, beginning next week, is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN."
Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, where she served as a correspondent for a number of shows including SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, and E:60. She is thrilled to be starting her new job on such a big weekend. "I couldn't be more excited to join the CNN and Turner Sports family," she said. "I'm looking forward to getting started at the Super Bowl."
Under the "Out with the Old" file, CNN's managing editor Mark Whitaker has announced that he will be resigning from his position, which will not be filled. "[W]ith Jeff Zucker's arrival, we have a new leader with his own forceful ideas about where to take CNN's reporting, programming and brand," read Whitaker's carefully worded statement. "For him to succeed, I believe he deserves his own team and management structure and the freedom to communicate one clear vision to the staff. I have shared that conclusion with him and he has agreed to let me step down as Managing Editor and move on from CNN."
In other words, expect even more entertainment fluff and even less hard news from CNN in a mad grab for TV ratings. Do you agree with this direction?