CNN head Jeff Zucker has denied rumors that Yahoo is considering buying the network from its current owners Time Warner. Zucker made the comments in a town hall meeting which he held with CNN employees. He also defended his decision not to show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
The world’s first 24 hour news channel has certainly fallen on hard times. Its founder Ted Turner was mocked when he established CNN because no one thought that there was any demand for a channel that only had news all day long. The major American networks’ news divisions mocked it. All this changed when during the Gulf War in 1991 CNN became a part of the story itself for its coverage. But just ten years later the network was eclipsed by the new Fox news as cable news in America was transformed into “Infotainement.”
Zucker was brought in recently to rebuild CNN.
At the meeting he also dealt with criticism from the channel’s most popular reporter Christiane Amanpour for his decision to block the airing of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons. The CNN chief international correspondent pointed out to Zucker that there is nothing in the Quran that actually prohibits showing an image of Mohamed.
Zucker said that he came to the decision after consulting with CNN’s Muslim employees.
The Washington Post cited a source who was at the meeting as quoting Zucker who reportedly said, “I talked to employees in … hotspots. I reached out to Muslim employees. I reached out across the company.”
Zucker also reportedly confessed that he was concerned about possible reprisals against CNN and its employees by terrorists saying, “But my first priority has to be to the safety and security of the employees of CNN … If somebody gets killed because we aired this, that’s on me.”
The town hall meeting was held in NY and was broadcast live to CNN bureaus around the world.