CNN announced this morning that it is bringing in Jeff Zucker as its new president. If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because Zucker is the former top banana at NBC who put the network in the toilet and completely bungled the Leno-Conan Tonight Show transition a few years ago, and then walked out the door with a $30 million check when he was justifiably sh-tcanned. (You remember, this guy?) Because, I guess, if you’re an increasingly irrelevant, last-place network like CNN, why not bring in someone who has lots of experience running an irrelevant, last-place network? It’s just common sense. Anyway, I’ll stop typing for a minute now because this is funnier than anything I could possibly come up with.
“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.”
Actually, I’m being a little unfair. As Josef Adalian at Vulture points out in his semi-defense of Zucker, before he jerked NBC off the road and into a ravine, Zucker was the 26-year-old wunderkind who turned Today into a ratings juggernaut, and his record with news is a lot better than his record with entertainment. Fine. Great. But there’s also this, which might be the most damning proof of his incompetence yet.
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