In an interview with The Wrap, CNN President Jeff Zucker defended the changes he has made since taking over the network, and admitted that while CNN doesn’t strive to be No. 1, they would be thrilled to have Fox News Channel’s ratings:
The Wrap: Are you guys happy with second place, or do you strive for No. 1?
Zucker: No. We strive to do the best we can do every day, and that’s report the news. We are a global network in television and in digital, and our goal is to do the best journalism every day. We have tremendous respect for our competitors, and our focus is on ourselves. Moving from third to second is not something we spend a lot of time thinking about, and we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.
The Wrap: As your numbers go up, why has Fox and MSNBC’s numbers gone down?
Zucker: Listen, we should only have Fox News’ numbers. We’d be thrilled to have Fox’s numbers, and they deserve a lot of credit. With regards to MSNBC, I can’t speak to why they’ve declined dramatically — we’re just focused on what we’re doing here now.
Zucker may not be happy that CNN is in second place, considering his success in turning the Today show into a ratings juggernaut during his tenure at NBC. But he appears resigned to the fact that the chances of overtaking Fox News is somewhere between slim and none for the foreseeable future, and that he should concentrate on putting more distance between CNN and the floundering MSNBC.