UPDATED: Jeff Zucker can stay on CNN after all.
Despite reports that Zucker, former head of NBCUniversal and current leader of CNN's Time Warner, has become a surprise candidate to direct Walt Disney & # 39; s ESPN, CNN spokesman, tells Variety that will not go anywhere.
"Jeff loves his job on CNN and has no interest in running ESPN," the spokesman said.
Rumors began to circulate this week in media circles that the television executive who rose to prominence for boosting the fortune of NBC's "Today" program might be in consideration to replace John Skipper in the gigantic Disney sports media giant. Skipper left ESPN late last year, citing a problem of substance addiction. It is said that Disney CEO Robert Iger is leading the search for a new boss on ESPN.
Running CNN is an intoxicating job, and Zucker has boosted performance in the cable news service since he arrived there in 2013. He has powered the powerful digital and mobile enterprise, hiring dozens of new employees to write online columns and newsletters, and host podcasts. And it has lent to CNN, often criticized in the past for its presentation of breaking news: a new and aggressive brightness. CNN broke great stories about the Trump administration and followed the ongoing investigation into the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The moves have spurred the adverse reaction to the network by Trump's strong supporters , that emit CNN as enemy of the president. In fact, President Trump has sometimes posted video clips on Twitter that show CNN being hit in one way or another.
Top Time Warner executives are not necessarily required to remain with Time Warner as it moves toward a merger with AT & T, according to a person familiar with the matter. The telecommunications giant agreed to buy Time Warner for $ 85 billion last year, but has been involved in what could be a prolonged court case after the US Department of Justice. UU He demanded to block the blockade. It is believed that Zucker signed a new contract to remain on CNN that began in 2016, three years after he started in the news organization. Since then, several of CNN's main presenters have also renewed contracts.
ESPN would present new challenges to any executive who took the reins. While it dominates rival sports stores owned by CBS, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal, ESPN has been losing subscribers as more consumers move to digital stores to access video entertainment. ESPN has also suffered political commentary on social networks from several of its leading personalities and the hosts have drawn attention and polarized their audience. ESPN is also in the middle of launching a new business: its "ESPN Plus", a direct consumer service, is scheduled to launch in the coming months.
The deadline informed for the first time of the possibility that Zucker was considered for the role of ESPN.