CNN’s new strategy: More info-tainment or send Anderson Cooper back out in the field?

They’re huge on little screens, apparently.
They’re huge on little screens, apparently.
Image: AP Photo / Diane Bondareff
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Looks like a change at the helm of CNN could result in a bevy of new shows. The network announced yesterday that Jeff Zucker, the long-time and controversial former NBC executive, would become its chief executive yesterday. Already, Zucker isn’t being shy about his desire to shake things up, and that’s evidenced in statements reported by Bloomberg:

We need new and fresh programs,” Zucker, 47, said in an interview. “We need to improve the already good stuff we’ve got, and we need to find new programs that will make everything better.”

Critics have argued that CNN needs to return to its roots—the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting that made CNN a must-watch under the leadership of Ted Turner—rather than mimic the political, general interest shift it’s practiced in the last few years. That would include sending anchors like Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer back out in the field.

However, it’s not clear that Zucker will listen to these analysts. So far, he’s expressed a desire to “broaden the definition of what news is” and argued that “not just about politics and wars”—statements that do not necessarily bode well for those seeking deeper, more intelligent programming. He’ll take over CNN at the beginning of next year.