Jeff Zucker, the former chief executive of NBCUniversal, has been named president of CNN Worldwide.
Phil Kent, chief of CNN parent company, Turner Broadcasting, made the announcement, saying in a statement that starting in January, he will assume oversight of two dozen CNN-branded networks and venues, including the most visible on U.S. television, the mother brand CNN.
Also in a statement, Zucker, a Miami native and 25-year veteran on NBC, said: “Outside of my family and the Miami Dolphins, there is nothing I am as passionate about as journalism. I spent the most rewarding years of my career as a journalist, and it’s where I look forward to spending many more. I am grateful to Phil Kent for this opportunity, and I’m excited to return to daily newsgathering and compelling storytelling in a place that values those above all else.”
The appointment — announced in the (web) pages of The New York Times Tuesday night — was expected of course, while Zucker had been a front-runner virtually from the minute he left his post as exec producer of Katie Couric's new syndicated show. His resume includes a long and successful run at NBC News, notably as exec producer of “Today” during the Couric era, but a checkered one as head of entertainment for the network, where he directed some major missteps, notably the installation of Jay Leno at 10.