New CNN boss Jeff Zucker rocked the cable news world this week when the network announced several changes in personnel, and indications are he is just getting started.
On Tuesday CNN announced that it had hired ABC “20/20” anchor Chris Cuomo to host a new morning show that Zucker sees as a key element in his effort to revitalize the network’s morning lineup. It has been reported that Zucker is planning on moving Erin Burnett from her 7 p.m. slot, where she has struggled ratings-wise, to the mornings, where she spent the early part of her career while at CNBC.
CNN then parted company with longtime political contributors Mary Matalin and James Carville, as well and conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who was quickly snapped up by Fox News.
The biggest change, though, may have been in the management ranks, as Managing Editor Mark Whitaker announced that he was leaving the network, clearing the way for Zucker to hire someone who will help him implement his vision for CNN.
There are still more changes to come, as Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien’s run in the morning is apparently nearing an end, leaving her future in doubt. There are also reports that Zucker is still pursuing former Today Show anchor Ann Curry.
Curry, who was fired in June from Today, is still under contract with NBC for $10 million, but has hardly been seen since a brief report during the Olympics in July. This has reportedly left her frustrated, leading to the CNN speculation.
But that $10 million price tag may be too high for Zucker, no matter how much he covets Curry, and it may mean that she may be forced to serve out her contract in NBC News oblivion. That actually may be a good thing for CNN, because while Zucker has been busy remaking the network, he hasn’t made any earth shattering or game changing moves that are likely to bring it out of its multi-year ratings slump any time soon.