CNN President Jeff Zucker: ‘I’d Be Very Open’ to Hiring Shepard Smith

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CNN, Richard Drew/AP

CNN President Jeff Zucker signaled Thursday that he is “very open” to hiring former Fox News Channel daytime anchor Shepard Smith.

Speaking at the network’s CITIZEN by CNN forum, Zucker called Smith, who unexpectedly resigned from Fox News earlier this month, both a “great journalist” and an “incredibly talented” anchor.

“I would be very open to talking to him,” Zucker revealed to CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter.

Stelter, who hosts CNN’s Reliable Sources, suggested the network’s 11:00 a.m. would be an optimal time slot for Smith to occupy.

“That’s what I was thinking. That’s so weird you’re thinking that, too,” Zucker replied, before adding, “I don’t know when he’ll be available but he is an immense talent and we’re always looking for great talent.”

Smith, known for his critical coverage of President Donald Trump and his administration, announced October 11th on his weekday program Shepard Smith Reporting that it would be his last broadcast at the network. Smith joined Fox News in 1996 and covered major news stories for over two decades. He held the title of chief news anchor and managing editor of the outlet’s breaking news unit.

During his interview with Stelter, Zucker re-upped his criticisms of Fox News, contending that employees of the network “are not truth-tellers.” He went on to say the network is “not a news organization” and is “akin to state-run TV.”

Zucker also addressed whether he still harbors plans to run for public office one day. 

“There are a lot of political offices that are interesting,” he stated. “It is something I will look at at the appropriate time. I have no plans to do so at this time. Politics interests me.”

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