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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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lipstickcatRobertRJJanNancy Recent comment authors
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Iakovos
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Iakovos

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

Jeffery
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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
Guest
lipstickcat

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

Dmitri
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Dmitri

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

gloria
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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
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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… Read more »

Michael
Guest
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
Guest
Robert

I totally agree! Wake up ABC!!!

bc
Guest
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
Guest
Nancy

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

Jan
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Breaking News

Anne Heche, ‘Another World’ Alum and TV and Film Star, Dead at 53

Following a catastrophic brain injury from crashing her car into a home last week and suffering severe burns, actress Anne Heche has been declared brain-dead at the age of 53.

In a statement from a rep for Heche’s friends and family, they expressed: “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.  Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

Heche is legally dead according to California law, although her heart is still beating she has not been taken off life support in order to allow for organ donations to take place and to find the right recipients.

 

Photo: AHInstagram

Anne’s eldest son, Homer 20, said in a statement to PEOPLE on his mom’s passing:  “My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you.”

The talented actress is best-known to soap opera fans for her Daytime Emmy-winning dual roles as twins, Vicky and Marley Hudson on Another World.  She had two sons, Homer with her ex Coley Laffoon and Atlas, 13, with actor James Tupper.

Throughout her career Heche appeared on TV shows and films includingL Men in Trees, If These Walls Could TalkDonnie BrascoI Know What You Did Last SummerSix Days, Seven Nights, and Gus Van Zant’s 1998 remake of Psycho. Back in 2020, Anne became a celebrity contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Heche’s stormy relationship with Ellen DeGeneres made headlines throughout her career, and today, DeGeneres shared: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”

Michael Fairman chatted with Anne back in 2020, in a memorable conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel touching upon her career start on Another World, being a champion for the LGBTQ community, her relationship with DeGeneres, the ups and down in her career, and her demons and childhood past.

You can watch the conversation below.

Now, share your thoughts, condolences, and remembrances for Anne Heche via the comment section.

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Breaking News

Anne Heche ‘Not Expected to Survive’; Suffered Severe Brain Injury From Fiery Crash

In just heartbreaking news, Daytime Emmy-winner, Anne Heche (Ex-Vicky/Marley, Another World), is not expected to survive after days in the hospital following being severely burned in a fiery car crash when her vehicle struck a home in Mar Vista, California last Friday.

According to family and friends of the motion picture and television star in a statement, “Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive. It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”  Deadline notes, the actress will be taken off life-support.

The statement went on to say, “We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital.  More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”

There are plans for Heche to get an Honor Walk, which is a hero’s goodbye donor patients receive by hospital staff as they are wheeled into the operating room in their final journey.

Heche will be featured on Lifetime’s Girl in Room 13, set to premiere this fall in September. Lifetime’s Executive VP  and head of programming, Amy Winter, revealed earlier this week at the TCA press tour, “As many of you know, Anne remains in critical condition and all of us here at Lifetime are deeply concerned for her and everyone affected. This project is important to Anne, along with each and every one of us. We all sought to make a film that would bring attention to this appalling issue of human sex trafficking.”

In addition, TMZ had reported that following toxicology reports, Cocaine was found in Heche’s system following the crash. They also found fentanyl. However,  sources say fentanyl can often be used as a pain medication in hospitals, so there is no confirmation that it was in Anne’s system at the time of the crash.

Anne was an amazing actress with such a tortured life.  We send thoughts and prayers to all her loved ones during this difficult time.  Share your thoughts on the latest update on Anne in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Anne Heche in “Extremely Critical Condition”; Still in Coma Following Fiery Car Crash

Although earlier reports over the weekend had soap opera alum and Daytime Emmy-winner, Anne Heche (Ex-Vicky/Marley, Another World) in stable condition following crashing her car into a home, on Monday an update on her condition looked more grim.

According to a statement provided to Deadline by Heche’s rep: “At this time Anne is in extreme critical condition. She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention. She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”

Since last Friday, Heche has been hospitalized following a harrowing incident where she crashed her car which caught fire into a private home in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.

In addition, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Annie Hernandez told City News Service that investigators obtained a warrant for a blood draw from Heche.

Over the last few days, a new episode of Heche’s podcast “Better Together” with her co-host Heather Duffy was released, which showed the actress slurring her speech.

Erroneous reports said that the podcast which dropped on Friday, was also recorded that day, and that Heche had been drinking prior to her accident during the show.  However, it has come to light that Heche taped that episode last Tuesday, not the day of the crash.

Share your thoughts and prayers for Anne as we continue to monitor and update the situation on the film and TV star, via the comment section below.

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GH’s Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer) talks with Michael Fairman immediately following his Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Younger Performer in Drama Series. Leave A Comment
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