News that Jeff Zucker, CNN’s longtime, larger-than-life chief, has been forced out for failing to disclose a consensual relationship he was having with a colleague, signals the end of an era for the all-news channel. One of the most celebrated TV programmers of his generation — he was “Today’s” executive producer at age 26 — Zucker leaves an indelible mark on CNN. He exits as the network struggles through a steep, post-Trump ratings slump, while desperately trying to manufacture Biden-era theater by relentlessly hyping “crisis” coverage. (Afghanistan! Inflation!)
His messy departure gives CNN executives a chance to review the network’s addiction to selling drama over news — to manufacturing storylines for the sake of viewer continuity.