Time Warner is
close to naming former NBC executive Jeff Zucker as head of its struggling CNN
CNN's current president, Jim Walton, announced plans to
leave the company over the summer and Zucker could be appointed to fill the
post in the next few days, according to a story in the New York Times.
Spokesmen for both Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting had
no comment on the report.
A former wunderkind executive producer of the Today show who became a senior network
executive at NBC, Zucker lost his job as CEO of NBCUniversal when Comcast
acquired control of the media company in 2011. With his news background,
Zucker's name surfaced when the search for a new CNN leader began. Most
recently, Zucker has been executive producer of former Today show colleague Katie Couric's
syndicated daytime talk show.
CNN, the first cable news network, has lost its dominant
position in the ratings, falling to third place in primetime behind Fox News
Channel and MSNBC. While Fox and MSNBC have grown by appealing to the left and
right of the political spectrum, CNN has lost traction trying to stay in the
middle of the road.
As a business, CNN has grown by being a leader with online
and mobile users, but with its ratings sinking to 20-year lows, revenue has
declined, intensifying concern at Time Warner.