CNN’S PHIL KENT’S MEMO TO COLLEAGUES REGARDING JEFF ZUCKER
(The following is a reformatted version of a CNN internal memo. The memo was confirmed.)
November 29, 2012
To: Colleagues From: Phil Kent
I am very pleased to confirm that Jeff Zucker will be joining CNN as president of CNN Worldwide. We’re making the announcement today. But first, I want to share my thinking on this decision with you directly.
After a careful search process, I picked Jeff because of his extensive experience and track record in broadcast and cable news, his passion for the news business and his strong belief, which I share, that the best days of CNN lie ahead if we create news programming on each of our platforms that delivers on the core values of the CNN brand: accuracy, immediacy and offering all perspectives through great reporting, analysis, explanation and presentation.
When Jim Walton announced his intention to step down at the end of the year, he specifically said that CNN needed “new thinking” to build upon our existing strengths and strong legacy. Jeff will provide that, and while he has enormous respect for our organization and brand, I expect that he also will challenge our thinking--yours and mine--in a very healthy and inclusive way. In a career that has seen significant professional success in both broadcast and cable, Jeff has demonstrated his ability to run multiple lines of business and fiercely defend journalists and journalism.
We have both short-term and long-term challenges ahead, from strengthening our normal news day programming to navigating through the changing consumption patterns of news. We are in a great position to do that with strong business fundamentals, terrific journalists and very strong platforms: two domestic networks, an international network and an innovative digital business, as well as our other enterprises.
Jeff will be based in New York and will start at the end of January, but you may see him sooner in the hallways there and in Atlanta. In the meantime, I ask all of you to stay focused and please be a little patient; no one should expect overnight transformation. CNN will continue to achieve its successes through great teamwork and collaboration, and I couldn’t be more pleased to position the best leader for the road ahead. When you meet Jeff, please wish him well and tell him he can count on you.
I want to thank you for your continuing commitment and great work at and for CNN.