Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Zucker Reaffirms CNN Commitment To Live News

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has affirmed the US newscaster’s commitment to live news and promised no replication of the recent spat between The Weather Channel and DirecTV, according to

Zucker became president of the 24 hour news channel in November 2012 after 25 years with NBCUniversal.

He has since overseen a push into factual series and feature docs in primetime and at weekends – including Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series.

Speaking in the keynote address to the RealScreen conference in Washington Monday, Zucker confirmed the channel intended to air eight original factual series, 10 feature docs, and 35 hours of in-house documentary production during 2014 – but vowed this would not detract from the channel’s live news coverage.

Zucker said: “We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We’re not going to lessen in any way our commitment coverage of news. We provide more news coverage on a daily basis than any other television network in the US.

He also vowed that the network would not be looking for competition or unscripted reality programmes, but rather look for informative and educational series done in an entertaining way. These would take up slots currently occupied by repeat news programming.

He said he did not fear distribution and carriage rows further down the line, as has recently been seen between The Weather Channel and DirecTV. The pay TV platform pulled The Weather Channel from its EPG amidst a license fee row, citing complaints from viewers that the station had moved away from live weather coverage, too far into returnable reality series.

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