New CNN Business Plan Leaked

In light of this news, it is safe to say that this will be the future busi­ness plan of CNN.

  1. Bring on Katie Couric in some capac­ity, per­haps to replace Piers Morgan.
  2. ???
  3. PROFIT!

Vet­eran news pro­ducer and for­mer NBC Uni­ver­sal chief Jeff Zucker will become the pres­i­dent of CNN World­wide in Jan­u­ary, the net­work announced Thurs­day.

Jeff’s expe­ri­ence as a news exec­u­tive is unmatched for its breadth and suc­cess,” said Phil Kent, chair­man and CEO of Turner Broad­cast­ing Sys­tem, CNN’s par­ent com­pany. “In a career that has seen sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional suc­cess in both broad­cast and cable, Jeff has demon­strated his abil­ity to run mul­ti­ple lines of busi­ness and fiercely defend jour­nal­ists and journalism.”

Zucker suc­ceeds Jim Wal­ton, who has headed CNN World­wide since 2003. As pres­i­dent, Zucker will over­see 23 branded news and infor­ma­tion busi­nesses, includ­ing CNN’s U.S. tele­vi­sion net­work, CNN Inter­na­tional, HLN and CNN Dig­i­tal. The lat­ter includes CNN.com, one of the world’s lead­ing news websites.

Zucker is best known for two things.

1) Giv­ing the world Katie Couric and Fear Fac­tor

2) Leav­ing NBC an empty wasteland.

Once an unknown news pro­ducer on Today, it was Zucker (at only the age of 26) who sug­gested the news divi­sion grab the then-unknown Couric and hav­ing her trade­mark perk­i­ness on to replace “the other woman” on the Today Show, Deb­o­rah Norville, who view­ers never liked after replac­ing the retir­ing morn­ing show icon, Jane Pauley.

Couric clicked, rat­ings soared, Zucker was ele­vated to run the enter­tain­ment divi­sion and used his con­nec­tions — and the net­works’ #1 sta­tus at the time — to do noth­ing new, pretty much let­ting “ER” die on the vine, giv­ing us lousy spin-offs from “Friends” and let­ting the shows which started before his tenure run their course while doing noth­ing to develop new shows.

Instead, he’s the one who started real­ity TV shows invad­ing on net­work tele­vi­sion with “Fear Fac­tor” lead­ing the gross-out rev­o­lu­tion.  The only “hit” he had dur­ing his time run­ning the net­work was the first sea­son of “Heroes,” which soon became a mess after the writer’s strike.

He also was the one who per­son­ally ended up screw­ing Conan O’Brien after per­son­ally get­ting Leno to agree to retire.  So there’s that too.

After get­ting sacked at NBC when Com­cast bought the net­work, he found his way…yeah, you guess it…back with Couric as the exec­u­tive pro­ducer of her new talk show host.

If CNN is hop­ing this guy can turn the ship around, they are prob­a­bly in for a few surprises.

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