Jeff Zucker is leaving CNN

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced this morning to staffers he will depart CNN at year’s end 2021. “The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on now,” Zucker said on the company’s daily editorial call, according to CNN. “But since then I’ve had a change of heart. And I want to stay. Not forever, but for another year. And I feel really good about this decision.”

Zucker created intense loyalty with his employees. “He’s the best boss I ever had, and it’s not even close,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper told the New York Times. “I’m grateful that we get him for another year.”

Associates said Zucker had been in high spirits in recent weeks, basking in WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s public praise of him and buoyed by CNN’s high ratings, the Times noted.

He joined CNN in 2013, and currently serves as the chief of WarnerMedia News and Sports.

Just the day before Zucker announced his intent to leave, Vanity Fair reported people at CNN “feel like he has their back, and I don’t know if anyone else can replicate that sense of support,” one CNN journalist told me. “In 40 years of CNN, the place has never been defined by its leader like it is right now. It’s like Roger Ailes without the sexual abuse and hush money.”

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