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News Media Reacts to Jeff Zucker Resigning as CNN President

Zucker disclosed a consensual relationship with chief spokesperson Allison Gollust who also served as an aide for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012.

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Media personalities and pundits on both sides of the aisle reacted to the news of former CNN President Jeff Zucker’s sudden resignation Wednesday.

Zucker disclosed a consensual relationship with chief spokesperson Allison Gollust who also served as an aide for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012.

“I came to CNN on January 28, 2013,” Zucker said in an internal memo tweeted out by CNN anchor Brian Stelter. “Together, we had nine great years. I certainly wish my tenure had ended differently. But It was an amazing run, and I loved every minute of it.”

Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin called the situation a “total mess” and expressed sympathy for the quality news people at the network.

“He (Zucker) botched Cuomo and helped put Trump on the map, good riddance,” Rubin added.

Zucker said the findings that led to his resignation were part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure.

“I acknowledge the relationship evolved in recent years,” he said. “I was required to disclose it when it began, but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”

Nationally syndicated radio host and Outkick founder Clay Travis said it was Zucker who banned him from the network.

“It was Zucker who instituted my lifetime ban on CNN for saying I believed in the first amendment and b–bs. Oh, the irony,” Travis tweeted.

“The View’s” Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, who also appears on CNN, said she was grateful for the time she spent working with Zucker.

“Grateful that during merger w/ATT, which required government approval, when Trump people pressured #JeffZucker to fire me & other Trump critics, he basically told them to f–k off,” she tweeted.

“He steadfastly defended CNN & had his people’s back, even when it was hard & brought consequences.”

VOX Senior Correspondent Ian Millhiser tweeted that Zucker did a “horrible job” running the network.

“Its ratings are in the toilet,” he tweeted. “And I have no idea who they view as their target audience, or even if it has occurred to them to target a particular audience.” 

Political commentator Keith Olbermann torched Zucker in a series of tweets. He said anybody who knew Zucker knew he was involved with Gollust long before the pandemic started.

According to the New York Post, Gollust released a statement shortly after saying that she and Zucker had been professional colleagues for over 20 years, but their relationship “changed during COVID.”

“While most observers will place the leak that ended Jeff Zucker’s career at the feet of a vengeful Andrew Cuomo, the weird part is anybody who knew Zucker knew about Allison Gollust. I first figured it out in 2006 or 2007,” Olbermann tweeted

“Now is a chance to put Fake News in the backseat because there may not be anything more important than straightening out the horrendous LameStream Media in our Country, and in the case of CNN, throughout the World,” Former President Donald Trump said. 

News Television

Sinclair CEO Says Political Environment Is “Very Good for Our Business”

Sinclair’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

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The midterm elections are here, and according to one television executive, it’s the best time considering the amount of political advertisement money pouring into stations at the local and national. 

One key beneficiary of that cash inflow is Sinclair Broadcast Group, the No. 2 owner of local TV stations in the U.S. The company’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

“Some of these primary races are crazy,” Ripley said, per Deadline. “On the one hand, I lament that we’re in the political environment that we are. On the other hand, it’s very good for our business.”

Ripley used an example to make a point with his claim, citing U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance who won his primary race after spending a heavy amount ont television ads. 

Furthermore, the television executive adds that the $75 million spent on TV ads for the primary was 40 times more than what was spent on the primary in the last election. Ripley also added that spending on ballots is also up and should continue to increase as issues like abortion and legal gambling arise. 

“More and more issues are going on direct ballots,” he said. “With what’s going on with abortion rights, that’s going to just even add to that category.” Legalizing sports betting or cannabis are other issues generating significant ad spending.

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News Television

NBC News Correspondent Pete Williams to Retire

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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NBC News

NBC News has announced Justice Department and Supreme Court correspondent Pete Williams will be retiring from the company. The reporter has been with the network for nearly three decades and has been at the forefront of many breaking news stories in Washington, DC. 

“Pete has been one of the nation’s foremost authorities covering the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice for nearly three decades,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to staff

“His career has been defined by his reputation for accuracy, reliability, and unmatched expertise in the subjects he covers.” 

Williams has covered various topics for NBC News, including the court cases dealing with the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. Earlier this year, the correspondent was the one who reported the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer would retire at the end of the current term.

“In short, for generations of NBC News reporters, working alongside Pete has been a daily masterclass in journalism. But perhaps more importantly, it has been a masterclass in what it means to be a good colleague,” Oppenheim added.

“Pete’s decency, kindness, and generosity are unmatched. For those that know Pete well, it’s his warmth, humor, wit, and compassion that will be missed most.”

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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News Television

Chris Licht: CNN Must Be Beacon of Journalism to Functional Democracy

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said

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CNN’s new president Chris Licht shed some light on the direction he plans to take the company at the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront. 

Licht spoke at the presentation alongside Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who expressed that CNN will be organized “to advocate for journalism first” and deliver for viewers “seeking more accurate information and less yelling and conflict.”

Furthermore, Licht proposed similar aspirations as he summarized his plan for the cable news channel to double down on what many might call sane news. 

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said, per Mediaite.

“In a time where extremes are dominating cable news, we will seek to go a different way — reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world views this medium.”

The new CNN president also vows to “challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news, delivering programming and commentary that questions the status quo, shatters group-think, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to facts, and fights fearlessly to get to the truth.”

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