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'Unguarded' Axed: CNN Cancels Sports Show Hosted by Jeff Zucker's First Hire

'Unguarded' Axed: CNN Cancels Sports Show Hosted by Jeff Zucker's First Hire

Call it another example of CNN boss Jeff Zucker’s reverse-Midas touch. 

On Wednesday, TVNewser reported that CNN is canceling “Unguarded” as the network slashes 8% of its workforce even as some of its top anchors rake in millions of dollars. Rachel Nichols, who was Zucker’s first hire at the network, hosted the show. Zucker courted Nichols at a diner over “really good eggs” and $12 pancakes” and eventually lured the former ESPN reporter to CNN.

“We’re just thrilled that a sports journalist of Rachel’s stature and expertise will now be a regular part of the CNN lineup,” Zucker said when announcing her hire. “Her arrival … is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN.”

The show turned out to be a ratings disaster. Nichols may not have helped matters when she went on Piers Morgan’s show (Morgan’s show was canceled, and he was let go.) to promote her show and implied that supporting the Second Amendment was not “mainstream,” saying NASCAR may turn off “mainstream” Americans by allowing the National Rifle Association (NRA) to sponsor a race in Texas. 

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