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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

‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Turns Himself In After Being Charged With Allegedly Filing False Police Report & Facing Criminal Charges

In major developments in the last several hours, Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon, Empire) turned himself in to Chicago police early Thursday morning, just hours after he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself late in January on the streets in Chicago.

In a press conference currently being conducted by the CPD supervisor, Eddie Johnson and Commander Edward Wodnick, they revealed that Smollett turned himself in quietly and without issue.   In addition, the Chicago PD are outlining the events and timeline that led to Smollett’s arrest.

Smollett turned himself in at the Central District police station in Chicago at 5 a.m., police reported.  Thursday morning, Smollett was scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Thursday at 1:30pm central time on a felony charge of a class 4 disorderly conduct, and with that charge Smollett could face up to 1.5 years in prison.

Jussie’s attorney’s released the following statement on Wednesday night after Smollett was charged by the Chicago PD: “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Smollett reported that he has been attacked as he was walking home around.  He claimed two masked men shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on to him.

Enter two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who Smollett knew, who were arrested last week, but later released as suspects. The two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett.  They were paid $3,500 to orchestrate the attack by Smollett.  In their press conference, the Chicago PD revealed that they have the check as evidence were Smollett paid the brothers that sum.

The brothers left for Nigeria hours after the attack, and were arrested days later when they returned to Chicago.   On Wednesday, they testified to a grand jury. Smollett was later charged with disorderly conduct.

What do you think now about the events and the arrest of Jussie Smollett?  Comment below! But first watch the Chicago PD police department.live feed of the press conference on Smollett’s arrest.

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Breaking News

Thad Luckinbill Back Taping At The Young and the Restless

Well, well, well! Look who is back on set at The Young and the Restless!  Thad Luckinbill, who is presumed dead as J.T. Hellstrom, was seen walking around the sound stages at CBS Television City on Wednesday.

That is because Thad is taping again at the number-one soap opera!  In a tweet put out by the series Twitter account with a photo of Thad (see below), they reveal: “Spotted On Set! J.T. Taking a coffee break. Stay tuned!”

So now the mystery begins!  Will J.T. be alive after all, which would exonerate Nikki, and her gal pals in crime, Phyllis, Sharon and Amelia from a murder rap?

Could Thad just be back to appear as a ghost?  Will he come back alive and continue his abusive ways towards Victoria?

When Luckinbill returned to the show in late 2017, fans were in for a shock when once nice guy, J.T. was turned into a spousal abuser.

So, what do you think of J.T. coming back to Genoa City … or is he? How will this story play out now that it is in the hands of head writer, Josh Griffith? Comment below,

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Breaking News

Denise Richards Joins The Cast Of The Bold and the Beautiful

Looks Like Denise Richards will be pulling double duty! After recently joining the new season of Bravo’s hit reality show franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the actress has also joined CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful.

In casting news out of PEOPLE.com, Richards is set to play Flo’s mom (Katrina Bowden), Shauna Fulton.

Richards is joining B&B in a contract role.  What we do know from the series EP and head writer, Brad Bell as told to PEOPLE: “Shauna is a fun-loving, hard-working single mother from Las Vegas who aspires to live life to its absolute fullest. She heads for Los Angeles when she learns that her daughter, Florence ‘Flo’, the pride and joy of her life, is entangled in a complicated situation. However, Shauna’s involvement won’t stop there. She’s got a past and big secrets to spill.”

Look for Denise to start her B&B adventure taping all-new episodes this Friday with her debut on April 3.

In the meantime you can catch Richards on RHOBH as their season kicked-off last week on February 12th.

So, what do you think of the addition of Denise Richards to The Bold and the Beautiful? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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