CNN Chief Jeff Zucker Makes Announcement on His Exit

Network president will finish out his contract, leave after this year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2021 10:05 AM CST
CNN's Jeff Zucker Leaving After This Year
Jeff Zucker is leaving his post as president of CNN at the end of the year.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

CNN President Jeff Zucker has ended the speculation about whether he's in or out: He plans to remain in his post through the end of this year but not to renew his contract after that, reports the New York Times. The 55-year-old informed staffers on a call Thursday. "I cannot imagine not being here right now," said Zucker on the call, addressing rumors that he might step down early this year. But when 2021 wraps up, "I do expect to move on," he said. The Los Angeles Times notes that Zucker's timeline appears to rule out the chance that he'll run for mayor of New York City—another topic of speculation—because the primary is in June. While other high-profile media execs (including MSNBC's Phil Griffin and the Washington Post's Marty Baron) opted to leave with the arrival of the Biden administration, Zucker chose a different route.

"I love my job, it's really that simple," he tells the LAT. Zucker took over at CNN in 2013 after stints with NBC's news and entertainment divisions, and his departure "will mark the end of an era for the venerable cable news network," per the Hollywood Reporter. CNN currently sits atop the ratings and had the best month in its history last month, notes Mediaite. On his Thursday call, Zucker addressed reports of friction with Jason Kilar, CEO of parent company WarnerMedia, who'd recently stripped Zucker of some responsibilities. "The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on," said Zucker. "But since then I've had a change of heart. And I want to stay. Not forever, but for another year. And I feel really good about this decision." (More Jeff Zucker stories.)

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