CNN interim leader calls on staff to honor Jeff Zucker by continuing his ‘mission’: ‘Do what we’ve been doing’

Jeff Zucker departed CNN on Wednesday with the network plagued by scandal and ratings struggles, but interim management plans to honor their former leader by sticking to his formula. 

Zucker resigned after failing to disclose a “consensual relationship” with network executive Allison Gollust, and the ex-CNN chief didn’t leave on a high note. Nevertheless, CNN media pundit Brian Stelter relayed that one of CNN’s interim leaders, Michael Bass, said on Thursday’s editiorial call they should honor Zucker’s “legacy” and “continue his mission … Do what we’ve been doing every single day.”

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During January, CNN settled for only 493,000 average viewers, marking a 74% drop compared to last year. CNN averaged a dismal 101,000 viewers among the key news demographic of adults age 25-54 in January 2022, a staggering 81% drop in the advertiser-coveted category. 

CNN has also been faced with a barrage of scandals, ranging from firing Chris Cuomo to keeping Jeffrey Toobin after a high-profile masturbation scandal. The network even fired a longtime producer who was accused of lewd sex crimes against children.CNN shed its straight-news reputation under Zucker during his nine years in charge, lurching to a more partisan approach.

New CNN management plans to honor Jeff Zucker by sticking to his losing formula. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

New CNN management plans to honor Jeff Zucker by sticking to his losing formula. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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And CNN apparently plans to stick to the status quo for the time being according to Bass, who is running the network on an interim basis alongside Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz. 

“I know we’re all in shock,” Bass told staffers on the call, according to Stelter. “You can’t replace Jeff. It’s not possible. There’s no one else like him … The best thing we can do is honor his legacy and continue his mission … Do what we’ve been doing every single day.”

Stelter’s tweet was swiftly mocked on Twitter; National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke paraphrased Vice President Kamala Harris back to him, writing, “It’s time for you to keep doing what you have been doing, and that time is every day.”

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