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Notes on CNN (& that Zucker Story)

Former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who was unceremoniously removed from his position some 18 months ago.
Former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who was unceremoniously removed from his position some 18 months ago. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
July 26, 2023

On Tuesday, I received a call from a fellow media reporter who wanted my reaction to a feature story that Tatiana Siegel had just published in Variety about CNN—a topic that, admittedly, has been of great interest to me during the last two years. The story, as it was described to me, posited that former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who as everyone knows had been unceremoniously removed from his position some 18 months ago, had been secretly plotting a double-barreled revenge fantasy. 

According to the story, this person told me, Zucker was trying to put together an international syndicate of wealthy investors—Jeff Bezos, George Soros’s son Alex, and the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, among them—to try to acquire the news network from Warner Bros. Discovery while simultaneously waging a shadow campaign holy war to depose his ill-fated successor, Chris Licht. Heavy cake.