CNN has been the epicenter for Trump Derangement Syndrome in the media.
The network has remained relevant by running nonstop stories hostile to Donald Trump.
But now CNN’s boss could be out for a surprising reason.
After a seven-year run, CNN chairman Jeff Zucker may be moving on.
CNN’s parent company, Warner Media, recently merged with AT&T, and the subsequent corporate restructuring could be the end of the road for Zucker.
While Zucker’s contract doesn’t expire until 2021, there are reports he could step down early after an unfavorable power shift within the corporation.
From The Wall Street Journal:
“Mr. Zucker, who has overseen CNN for seven years, felt blindsided by a recent restructuring carried out by parent WarnerMedia, and has had friction with its chief executive, Jason Kilar, according to people familiar with the situation.”
“When Mr. Kilar succeeded John Stankey atop WarnerMedia earlier this year, he carried out another overhaul in August that took away from Mr. Zucker oversight of CNN’s finances and human resources, as well as communications—an area run by one of Mr. Zucker’s top lieutenants, Allison Gollust. The changes annoyed and surprised Mr. Zucker…He helped launch the streaming service Hulu, which Mr. Kilar ran in its early years—meaning that Mr. Zucker now reports to someone who used to work for him.”
In terms of CNN’s viewership, while the network experience the “Trump bump” in ratings, they’ve steadily trailed behind MSNBC and Fox News in cable news viewership.
The network has also faced heavy criticism for taking a hard turn from reporting actual news to peddling unabashed opinion-journalism instead.
CNN purports to be an objective news source, but the network’s unrelenting anti-Trump bias is obvious to any observers.
Studies show that over 90% of the network’s coverage of Trump has been negative.
Investigative journalists at Project Veritas also exposed meetings where Zucker explicitly told his reporters to focus solely on negative Trump stories.
However, Zucker has been friendly with Trump in the past which has brought on criticisms that he’s disingenuous.
Also from The Wall Street Journal:
“Some critics on the right, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, say Mr. Zucker’s attitude toward the president is hypocritical. Earlier this year, Fox News aired recordings of conversations from 2016 between Mr. Zucker and Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which Mr. Zucker could be heard fawning over the then-candidate and proposing a weekly show for Mr. Trump.”
Whether or not Zucker leaves the company, CNN will have to figure out its business model beyond the next four years.
Even with the “Orange Man Bad” jump in viewership, it hasn’t been enough to catch up with their competitors in the ratings game.