CNN’s New Ownership Makes a Revealing Admission—or Was It Something Else? – Opinion

The ouster of Jeff Zucker as captain of CNN has elicited various emotions from the public, but when it comes to the network’s hosts and staffers, they have almost universally disapproved of the move.

After it was revealed that Zucker had been having an affair for years with Allison Gollust (currently at CNN), Zucker decided to resign. Figures like Brian Stelter rushed to question the resignation, ignoring the serious ethical implications not only involving the affair, but also Zucker’s interactions with former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

There definitely seems to be a strong fear among CNN’s current establishment that changes are coming, and that those changes could threaten some of the more entrenched hosts and executives. That’s especially true, given that CNN’s ownership is set to change soon following Discovery’s recent purchase of the network.

David Zaslav (Discovery CEO) has now made an interesting comment about the liberal network. Per Mediaite, which has now changed its story (which I will get to in a moment), Zaslav proclaimed “we’re the leader in news to the left” while speaking about CNN during an appearance on CNBC.

CNBC hosts Joe KernenThe comment was immediately taken into consideration.

“Definitely to the left,” Kernen said. “Did you say to the left?”

Zaslav laughed, but didn’t retract his comments.

“Man, you weren’t kidding,” Kernen said, also laughing. Then, sheepishly taking back his question, Kernen said, “that was an aside. I probably shouldn’t have said that.”

Zaslav has, in the past, signaled a dissatisfaction about CNN’s current direction, noting that he felt things would be better off if we “just had news networks in America.” Clearly, there is some consternation going on at Discovery ahead of their takeover, and why wouldn’t there be? CNN’s ratings are in the toilet, and they’ve lost every bit of credibility they once had as a more neutral news network. You can imagine those realities have hurt the network’s finances as well.

Many people will support Zucker, claiming that his role is not being replaced if there are changes. He protected the status quo. Many hosts and staffers felt that they could do their thing and not be held accountable.

But as I said, Mediaite has “corrected” its story, with the latest claim being that Zaslav meant the left side of Discovery’s portfolio.

Correction:Mediaite learned that Zaslav meant the Discovery portfolio’s left-hand side, and not the political right. Joe Kernen requested clarification from Zaslav, and he did not contest the context of his comments. Zaslav then stated that sports are on the right-hand side of the portfolio. The error was regretted by Mediaite. Below is an updated version.

Put me in the camp of not buying that clarification from Zaslav, especially when he had a chance to say what he meant immediately and didn’t. His later mention that sports were on the right side in the portfolio smacks of trying to tidy up what he did wrong. Besides, CNN is not a “leader in news” — If notYou are specifically referring to the left.

Regardless of what he actually meant, I don’t think Discovery bought CNN to keep things as they are. There are changes coming. I believe that big names could be moved. There has to be something, because no parent company will buy a network to maintain its terrible ratings. Discovery will want to see a return on their investment sooner than expected.

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