AT&T Has CNN’s Zucker in Crosshairs Ahead of Time Warner Acquisition

Jeff Zucker CNN Getty
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Following the revelation that CNN published fake news about the Trump administration and its alleged ties to Russia after an investigation by Breitbart News, the next head to roll at the embattled media company may be President Jeff Zucker.

“AT&T will look to ‘neutralize’ CNN President Jeff Zucker after it buys Time Warner,” the New York Post reported on Wednesday.

“The buzz from the telecommunications giant comes as CNN is being slammed for highly publicized missteps, according to three sources familiar with the thinking of AT&T brass,” the Post reported.

In the wake of Breitbart’s investigation, CNN issued the following retraction:

“On June 22, 2017, published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” CNN said in a statement late Friday night. “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.”

Three journalists responsible for the production of the fake news resigned as a consequence.

But even before the fake news story, CNN was under fire for its journalistic standards or lack thereof.  CNN fired host Reza Aslanand and canceled his show, “Believer,” after he tweeted that President Donald Trump was a “piece of sh*t.”

“The $85 billion acquisition of CNN parent Time Warner by AT&T could win anti-trust approval by the Justice Department in the next 60 days,” the Post reported its source revealed.

“There was early talk about the way Zucker managed that wasn’t a good fit for the new organization,” one source said. “They were eyeing ways to neutralize him.”

“The news business doesn’t seem to be central to AT&T’s content strategy,” Craig Moffett, a co-founder of independent media research firm MoffettNathanson told the Post. “They seem much more interested in the entertainment brands. If selling CNN would make regulators happy, they’ll sell it. I can’t imagine AT&T would let CNN stand in the way of securing approval for the merger.”

The Post asked AT&T to comment on Zucker, but the corporation responded with a general statement.

“We value all of Time Warner’s assets and strongly believe that the combination of our two companies will help ignite a new wave of innovation in media and entertainment,” Larry Solomon, SVP of corporate communications at AT&T, told the Post.

Time Warner declined to comment for the report on Zucker, according to the Post.


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