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The amount of money recently ousted CNN boss Jeff Zucker took home when he was forced to resign last month is becoming clearer.
The Wall Street Journal quoted ‘people familiar with the situation’ on Thursday to report that Zucker had agreed to a payment of ‘over $5 million, compensation owed to him on his 2021 bonus’ before shocking employees at CNN by resigning.
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The WSJ report came a day after Deadline announced Zucker would receive “a one-time payment of approximately $10 million,” in a story that also cites unnamed sources.
While the difference between “over $5 million” and “about $10 million” leaves some wiggle room, it’s clear that Zucker — who is largely responsible for CNN’s partisan turn — has walked away. of the network with a large payment.
Both outlets reported that Zucker had agreed not to sue CNN parent company WarnerMedia as part of his exit deal.
WarnerMedia and Zucker’s legal team did not comment publicly. WarnerMedia declined to comment, and Zucker’s team did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
Zucker’s departure was initially attributed to failing to disclose a consensual sexual relationship with fellow CNN executive Allison Gollus, but parent company WarnerMedia has since admitted the former network boss violated its standards and practices by matter of information. WarnerMedia hasn’t explained how Zucker violated CNN’s standards and practices, but it should be noted that violations were found during a third-party investigation into CNN’s handling of “issues” associated with Chris Cuomo and his big brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, RE.
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Zucker has received praise from CNN’s biggest stars, who berated WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar for his handling of the situation. Zucker was mostly praised on air, with many presenters and reporters praising his leadership. However, a former CNN producer has since suggested that many well-paid CNN stars were actually upset by Zucker’s forced resignation, as he is known to pay handsomely low-rated program hosts.
“Jeff was overpaying talent. That’s the real reason they were upset that he was fired,” the ex-producer told Fox News Digital.
Media veteran Chris Licht, who is currently executive producer and showrunner for CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” will succeed Zucker. He is expected to join CNN in May after a long-planned merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery.
CNN’s version of Licht is set to revert to founder Ted Turner’s factual approach to news after Zucker pushed the network to the left, loading its programming with liberal pundits. In a recent note to future colleagues, Licht suggested changes are on the horizon.
“Together we will double down on what works well and quickly eliminate what doesn’t,” Licht wrote to his future staff.
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According to the ratings, the network’s prime time programming and morning show “New Day” are not working. CNN has averaged just 916,000 prime-time viewers since Biden took office, compared to 2.4 million for Fox News and 1.4 million for MSNBC, and “New Day” has long struggled for its relevance.
As The Wall Street Journal noted, Licht helped develop both “Morning Joe” and “CBS This Morning,” so industry insiders “expect him to try revamping the program. morning of CNN” because of his experience with the timeslot.
Despite the ratings struggles, Anderson Cooper and John Berman are seen as reporters who could stay if the network truly returns to direct news, while Don Lemon and Brianna Keilar are better known for their writing.