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Jeff Zucker Appointed CNN Worldwide President! Will Exit KATIE Shortly!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

After all the rumors and all the hoopla it was confirmed yesterday that Jeff Zucker has officially been appointed CNN Worldwide President.  Zucker replaces Jim Walton, who is retiring at the end of 2012.

The Time Warner-owned cable news network suffered from record low ratings in 2012, hitting a 21-year primetime ratings low in the spring. The original 24-hour cable news network fell into a distant third place behind rival MSNBC and cable news leader Fox News. Walton announced his resignation over the summer, saying the network needed new leadership and “new thinking.”

Though Zucker does not begin his post till the end of January, he decided to communicate with the staff directly after the network announcement on Thursday. Zucker is currently the executive producer of Katie Couric’s syndicated daytime talker, Katie, where he will remain through mid-January.

Katie Couric through a statement of her own related, “I’m very excited that Jeff has such a wonderful opportunity at CNN and equally excited for CNN. I’m also grateful that Jeff has been so instrumental in getting our show off to such a strong start and look forward to working with the fantastic staff we’ve assembled and building on the strong foundation we’ve created.”

According to Huffington Post today, Zucker immediately sent out a memo to his new staff writing:  “I don’t have all the answers. No one does. But I hope that we can challenge each other to think even more broadly about what CNN is and can be, and to enhance this truly special and powerful brand.”   Then, on a phone call with press on Thursday, Zucker said he planned to “remain true to the journalistic values” of CNN, but will also aim to “broaden the definition of what news is.” One way in which the network seems to be “broadening its definition of news” is through its decision to air a wider variety of reality and nonfiction programming.

So what do you think of the appointment of Zucker to head CNN?  Does this mean more doom for Katie? Or, could this change at the top actually help her talk show?  Weigh-in!

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Iakovos
Iakovos

Anyone remember Zucker’s tenure as NBC’s primetime guy? Network freefall!

Jeffery
Jeffery

Katie’s talk show is a bore. Wendy Williams is the true successor when it comes to Oprah’s old crown. Zucker won’t change CNN for the better. Eventually, FOX News will implode, and more people will get their real news from MSNBC than its competitors, because MSNBC is the only one in the bunch with visionary leadership at the moment.

lipstickcat
lipstickcat

Are you kidding me? MSNBC is a joke! Anyone who takes it seriously is nuts!

Dmitri
Dmitri

Talk shows are boring and all the same. Katie will be cancelled soon, followed by The Spew.

gloria
gloria

At first glance I thought Katie was exiting, that it was over. I WISH. I’ll never get used to not having AMC at noon, OLTL at 1 & GH at 2 (central time)

I told my mother today, remember when we had soaps from 11-3 every day on every network? Oh, for the days.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

During the time when Katie Couric’s contract with NBC was about to expire, I noticed several articles referencing Couric as a possible replacement for the aging Larry King. Seeing this mentioned several times by different writers, I wondered if Couric really wanted that job and was sparking these comments. Clearly, that didn’t happen as Piers Morgan replaced King and Couric became anchor of the CBS Evening News.

Now that Couric is on a daytime talking that is doing okay but not great, Morgan seems to be floundering as King’s replacement with viewers turning him off, and Couric’s old pal Jeff Zucker taking over at CNN, I’d bet $$$ that, within 2 years, we’ll see Couric’s current show gone, Morgan off of CNN, and Couric taking over the King/Morgan timeslot on CNN.

Michael
Michael

hmmmm. Maybe ABC will grow some balls, realize they screwed up big time- and bring back the only genre in daytime that has longevity- our soaps. How bout it Disney folks? Admit you screwed up, blame it Brian Fronz, and bring back One Life and All My Kids. If they could somehow get GH’s producer/writer to helm all 3 soaps,they’d have double Katie’s anemic ratings.

Robert
Robert

I totally agree! Wake up ABC!!!

bc
bc

Zucker should run cnn to the ground! That would be great for the planet. one less channel for shilling and editorializing and spreading lies. one less channel for anderson cooper!

Nancy
Nancy

I don’t like talk shows. She’s going to flop. Then they can make General Hospital a 2 hour show.

Jan
Jan

I don’t give flip about exec’s they don’t care about the public when they ask for show’s to stay on. They are greedy and really only give a rat’s ass about their paychecks.
Katie failed because she’s a greedy woman.

RJ
RJ

Wish him the best, but I was surprised when I first heard it because of the Conan/Leno fiasco, but as CNN is a news channel I realized that he was being hired based upon his past success with the Today show and his background with journalism/news (obviously, not because of his prime time entertainment capacity),so we shall see. The Katie show is disappointing mostly interviewing celebrities. She and the show could be much better. Need better topics and to improve the format. More interactive. Good point that others said maybe she will take over the Piers Morgan show on CNN some day. The problem with CNN now is that they recycle the same news stories over and over again. Each show has similar news topics. You can watch for an hour and that is enough. If they changed the news stories, diversified, spiced
it up you could watch for hours, but now no need to. Zucker has to make that the focus to improve ratings – he has to improve content and be more creative with the format. Think out of the box. These shows have become- common, complacent, lackluster and boring. Off topic- but the Today show has become lame and lackluster as well- they need to spice it up.

Breaking News

General Hospital Casts ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Alum Janet Hubert As Mike’s New Love Interest

Intriguing casting news out of Port Charles on Sunday. The ABC daytime drama series has tapped former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Janet Hubert to play the character of  Yvonne,who is said to be a love interest for Mike (Max Gail) at the nursing home he is now in.

According to EW.com, Yvonne will end up having a connection to someone or someones on the canvas.

Hubert’s first episode is slated to air on December 7th.   Sitcom fans remember Janet from “Fresh Prince’ in scenes with Will Smith in the series in the role of Vivian Banks.

GH is not Janet’s first soap, either.  She appeared on One Life to Live as Evangeline Williamson’s (Renee Elise Goldsberry) and Layla Williamsom’s (Tika Sumpter) mother, Lisa.  The actress also appeared on All My Children as Alice Dawson.

In another twist, Hubert will reunite with Vernee Watson (Stella)om GH.  The two appeared together on “Fresh Prince”, where Watson played Will’s mother.

So does this mean that Yvonne and Stella are both going to be romantically interested in Mike Corbin?

What do you think of the casting news?  Interested to see this next leg of Mike’s story as he declines from Alzheimer’s, but may find love?  Comment below.

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Breaking News

Soaps Lift Boycott Threat Of Daytime Emmys

In a key move to allow those performers in front of the camera and behind the scenes crew and creatives to be acknowledged for their accomplishments this calendar year, the four daytime dramas collectively have decided to lift their threatened boycott and participate in the upcoming 46th annual Daytime Emmy competition.

This comes after the four network soaps (Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Young and the Restless) banded together after being unsatisfied with snafu’s coming out of the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awards earlier this year in April, and a list of grievances and concerns they asked to be addressed by the organization that administers the Emmy contest.

Then, following an internal investigation by NATAS by the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth of Washington, DC, the results which were released on November 8th, and being in receipt of their findings, the soaps decided to move forward while still having concerns they want addressed.

In a statement from the group, a spokesperson related to Deadline, who broke the story late Friday: “As a group, we are not in agreement with all of the conclusions that NATAS reached.  However, in the spirit of working with NATAS and the TV Academy on improving the integrity of the Daytime Emmys, we have lifted our boycott. We look forward to meeting with NATAS to discuss their findings and our concerns in greater detail.”

On Saturday, someone close to the situation said to Michael Fairman TV: “Our participation doesn’t mean we accept their proposal moving forward, we still have major issues that we will be discussing with the Chair and President (of NATAS), but as a collective whole, we don’t want to penalize our actors for NATAS’ mis-management.”

The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy submissions began earlier this week on November 12th, with the Daytime Emmys slated to be handed out in early May of 2019.

So, are you glad that the network soaps have lifted their threatened boycott so that your favorite performers, whose performances you have loved over the last 11 months can be acknowledged for their talents and hard work? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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Breaking News

AW and Y&R Alum Alicia Coppola To Recur On ‘Empire’

More exciting roles coming the way of Alicia Coppola! Casting news out today has that the former soap alum of both Another World (Ex-Lorna) and more recently, The Young and the Restless (Ex-Meredith) has landed a recurring role on Empire.

According to Deadline: “Coppola will play a smart, flamboyant attorney investigating Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and international money launderer Damon Cross (Wood Harris).  She’ll do almost anything for big target convictions because she believes they’ll take her to the Governor’s mansion and then the White House.”

In an Instagram post on Friday, Alicia posted: “What a way to start the Holidays, end 2018 and begin a wonderful 2019! Thank you is all I can say. To say I am Grateful is an understatement. @empirefox here I come!” Recently, Coppola also recurred on NCIS: Los Angeles.

On Thursday night’s Soap Nation Live radio broadcast, Linda Dano, who played Alicia’s on-screen mother on Another World, Felicia Gallant, had complimented Alicia during her guest segment, and she still keeps in touch with her.  You can listen to that here.

So, will you be checking out Alicia on Fox’s Empire?  Let us know via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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