The president of the news network perhaps best known for being an enemy to former President Donald Trump has reportedly announced plans to call it quits at the end of this year.
According to sources cited by the New York Post, CNN chief Jeff Zucker said in a call with staffers that while the rumors that he’s immediately stepping down aren’t true, he is eyeing an exit when his contract expires at the end of 2021.
“The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on now,” Zucker said, according to reports.
“But since then I’ve had a change of heart,” he added. “And I want to stay. Not forever, but for another year. And I feel really good about this decision.”
“I love my job”
The talk of an early exit for Zucker came in part thanks to expectations that CNN would see lower ratings and reduced viewership with Trump out of the White House, not to mention potential staffing and structural changes coming to the network, led by parent company AT&T’s WarnerMedia, as the Post noted.
The Los Angeles Times was the first to report that Zucker would not be leaving CNN in the aftermath of the presidential transition, as had been suggested by some, but would instead stay at the network to fulfill his contractual obligations.
“I love my job, it’s really that simple,” Zucker told the Times in a phone interview.
According to the Times, it remains unclear what Zucker will do with his final year as head of both CNN and WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports division — but he’s apparently optimistic.
“CNN has a lot more confidence,” Zucker told the paper. “We used to get bullied. We are not bullied by anybody now,” he added unironically.
According to The Hill, Zucker has been running CNN since 2013. The Los Angeles Times reports that his decision to stick with the network through 2021 quashes speculation that he may run for mayor of New York City, a race that currently includes contenders like failed Democrat presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams.
With that, Zucker’s future after his reported departure from CNN remains uncertain, reports note.
But what is clear is that even if Zucker is staying on, some big changes will be coming to CNN this year, as their favorite punching bag is now out of the Washington spotlight. How they move forward from here is anyone’s guess.