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It's official: Jeff Zucker named president of CNN

President and chief executive of NBC Universal Jeff

President and chief executive of NBC Universal Jeff Zucker attends the 2010 NBC Upfront presentation at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan. (May 17, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

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.

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