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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.

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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.

Days Of Our Lives

Eric Martsolf Talks Brady Being Duped & His Co-Stars; Galen Gering & Camila Banus Chat Hernandez Siblings On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

On the latest episode of the Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast, Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) chats with host. Michael Fairman as Brady’s story hits a major turning point!  As DAYS fans know, Brady recently hit the sheets with “Nicole” who was Kristen in disguise.

Photo: NBC

During the podcast conversation, Eric explains how he has to sometimes suspend belief to make stories work in daytime which included Brady not figuring out that “Nicole” was Kristen, although it certainly re-ignited his thoughts of her!  Plus, he chimes in on the fun he has had working with his co-stars: Arianne Zucker (“Nicole”) and Stacy Haiduk (Kristen/Susan) in their many scenes

Later, Eric tries to remember all of the loves of Brady’s life that crashed and burned, and is posed the question, “What would he think if Days of our Lives SORAS’d Brady’s son, Tate, to an 18-year-old?

Courtesy/NBC

Then, the podcast goes behind the scenes for a dressing room segment where Galen Gering (Rafe) welcomes his on-screen sister, Camila Banus (Gabi).  The two banter about their on-screen and off-screen relationship as brother/sister and friends, and how much they value one another as they create the Hernandez sibling dynamic.

To download the episode via iTunes click here.   To listen to the podcast via NBC.com/Inside Salem click here.

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So, what do you think Brady should do now after the mess he finds himself in due to Kristen’s manipulations? Comment below.

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Dancing with the Stars

DWTS Host, Tom Bergeron Not Happy With “Divisive” Casting Choices Aimed At Sean Spicer

Controversy already erupted upon the announcement on Wednesday of the cast of the new season of Dancing with the Stars.  Most intriguing is that a statement from the longtime ABC series, host, Tom Bergeron revealed his hopes to the producers that their celebrity casting choices would be non-political in nature, especially after the ballroom dance competition had been on a year hiatus from the small screens.

Following the celebrity contestant reveal, which included former White House Press Secretary. Sean Spicer (who worked for President Donald Trump), the host released a statement via his Twitter account.  In it, Bergeron noted that he’d had lunch with the show’s new executive producer and had suggested some ideas for the show. Chief among them was that DWTS should avoid casting someone with “ANY party affiliations.”  When he left that lunch, Bergeron says he was convinced that would be the case.

Bergeron expressed: “It was my hope that ‘DWTS,’ in its return from an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”  Then he said, “Subsequently (and rather obviously) a decision was made to, as they often say in Hollywood, “go in a different direction”.  He went on to say, “It is the prerogative of producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call. I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”

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DWTS new EP Andrew Llinares, then said in a statement. “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season,”

You can see Bergeron’s tweet in full below.

So, what do you think of Bergeron’s hopes for the casting choices of DTWS?  Would you have preferred Sean Spicer to be cut from the cast?  Who would you have liked to have seen cast on the series? Would you want any celeb you like to even go on it any more? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Dancing with the Stars Season 28 Cast Revealed: From The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown to Ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America the celebrity line-up was announced for the upcoming fall season and 28th edition of Dancing with the Stars.  Within the list of competitors are: The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, former Dawson’s Creek star, James Van Der Beek, and even disgraced White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and the “Uptown Girl” herself, supermodel Christie Brinkley 

In addition to the above celebs, showing their best ballroom dance moves will also be: Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, The Office‘s Kate Flannery and Kenan & Kel‘s Kel Mitchell, plus The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke, and American Idol Season 10 runner-up  and now country/pop star, Lauren Alaina.

As for the former pro athletes in the cast; those slots belong to: former NFL linebacker of the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis, and former NBA player (and former hubby to Khloe Kardashian) Lamar Odom.

On the pro dancer side, this season will mark the return of Peta Murgatroyd who last competed three seasons ago, as well as newcomers Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov. In addition, the cast will include the steps of: Brandon Armstrong, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko and Emma Slater.

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This season viewers will not learn of the celebrity/pro pairings till the night of the premiere.

All the moves kick-off on Monday night, September 26th at 8PMEST/7PMCST on ABC.

So, what do you think of the new cast of DWTS? Who do you think on paper stands the best chance of being a top contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy? Weigh-in 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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