Looks like Jeff Zucker’s days at the helm of CNN are drawing to a close:

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN and head of WarnerMedia news and sports, will continue in that role at least through the end of 2021.

Zucker said on CNN’s morning editorial call that he will remain with the company through the end of his current contract, which runs through 2021, a CNN staffer who was on the call tells The Hollywood Reporter. He added that he does expect to leave the company at the end of this year after his contract is up.

CNN saw a ratings revival ever since Donald Trump became president, and its position has only grown stronger post-election, winning the January ratings race outright against Fox News and MSNBC for the first time in years. His decision to stick around (at least for now) means that he will oversee CNN as it pivots both in is coverage (to reflect a Biden presidency that may lend itself to fewer bombastic storylines), and in its business, with [WarnerMedia CEO Jason] Kilar pushing for a focus on streaming and deemphasizing traditional cable TV.

Brian Stelter writes:

Zucker, a veteran of NBC, took over CNN in 2013. At the time, industry publications were filled with stories about CNN’s “identity crisis,” lost between Fox’s more popular programming on the right and MSNBC’s programming on the left.

Zucker brought a producer’s brain, a nose for news and an eye for talent. Numerous stories described his hands-on management and his support for confrontational interviews.

In the Trump years, CNN adopted the slogan “Facts First” and called out the administration’s mendacity, gaining the trust of many viewers while alienating some Trump fans. Zucker became a boogeyman of sorts for Trump and on Fox’s prime time shows — yet more evidence of his larger-than-life status in the news business.

But Brian could’ve saved himself a lot of time if he’d just tweeted this:

There may actually be something to that:

The NYT’s Ben Smith:

I was thinking about that exchange when Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently gleefully aired recordings of conversations with Mr. Zucker that Mr. Trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen, had deviously taped in March 2016.

Mr. Zucker is heard speaking in flattering and friendly terms about Mr. Trump, or, as he called him, “the boss.”

“You guys have had great instincts, great guts and great understanding of everything,” Mr. Zucker says to Mr. Cohen of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

And Mr. Zucker shows an eager interest in Mr. Trump’s television stardom. “I have all these proposals for him,” Mr. Zucker says beseechingly at one point. “Like, I want to do a weekly show with him and all this stuff.”

Well, Donald Trump’s not running for the GOP nomination anymore. He’s not president anymore. That leaves Jeff Zucker without much to do.

Anyway, before we wrap this up, independent conservative journo Jeryl Bier found something interesting in Smith’s write-up regarding the recordings he mentions above:

Maybe CNN’s next CEO will put #FactsFirst even harder.

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