Jeff Zucker gives bottom rated CNN a talent cleanse
By April MacIntyre Jan 30, 2013, 16:26 GMT
Gone from CNN: James Carville - El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA © Andrew Evans / PR Photos
Once known as Nikki Finke's most reviled TV executive, former NBC chieftain Jeff Zucker’s new post at CNN has turned industry heads.
CNN under Zucker's reign will see ABC News anchor Chris Cuomo take over the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot currently occupied by Soledad O’Brien.
According to network sources who have tipped the dailymail.com and other news outlets, Cuomo is to be joined in the morning by the current anchor of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, leaving a hole for Zucker to fill at 7 p.m.
Zucker made it clear that one of his top priorities would be trying to fix the cable channels' consistently bottom of the barrel ratings, as he has installed ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper to be anchor for the 4 p.m. slot, shrinking one hour from The Situation Room's veteran reporter Wolf Blitzer. Former ESPN personality Rachel Nichols reportedly will get a weekend sports show.
Zucker and CNN severed the contract with political contributor Erick Erickson, who is heading to Fox News. Analysts and real-life coupe James Carville and Mary Matalin are now gone, as is CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker.
CNN insiders have spread the rumor that Zucker will likely recruit Michael Bass, currently co-executive producer of Katie.
Also announced is that Oscar nominee James Earl Jones was rehired to speak the classic 'This is CNN' greeting.
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