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CNN’s comeback will be gradual, new boss Zucker says

Give it three years.

That’s the time frame new boss Jeff Zucker is asking for as he strives to turn around the fledging Cable News Network, and Zucker’s betting big on morning news.

“It’s really important we have a strong morning show,” Zucker said at a press conference on Friday. CNN replaced its long-running breakfast show “American Morning” with two new programs, “Early Start” and “Starting Point.”

Those programs will be replaced in June when CNN launches “New Day,” a three-hour news show hosted by former ABC News man Chris Cuomo and morning show veteran Michaela Perira, who left Los Angeles local station KTLA-TV earlier this year.

Zucker says you won’t find cooking shows and concerts reminiscent of his old home at NBC’s “Today Show.” And he’s not betting on huge ratings right off the bat.

“It will take time to gel and find itself and evolve,” Zucker said.

That doesn’t mean CNN will launch without a plan. Zucker’s keeping his plans for “New Day” close to the chest, but he did reveal that the show would be “a news program,” adding that “even in an Internet age, people are coming to CNN for the news.”

While CNN’s international channel has largely remained untouched, changes at CNN’s domestic channel have not gone unnoticed since Zucker signed on as the network’s president in January. The network revamped some of its graphics, resumed using an on-screen news ticker and has made minor modifications to its website since Zucker joined.

Perhaps the most-notable change at CNN is it’s newfound commitment to covering large stories in real-time. The channel was mocked by media pundits in February after its tedious and lengthy coverage of a disabled cruise ship.

Los Angeles Times: New CNN boss unveils new morning show
Bloomberg: CNN’s ratings revival to take years, boss says

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).