CNN President Jeff Zucker has told employees of the news network that he was going remain at the network until the end of this year.

Zucker announced his decision to stay with CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, on February 4. The network reported the announcement. According to the New York Times, Zucker's contract with WarnerMedia comes to a close at the end of this year.

CNN quoted Zucker as saying that months ago, he had wanted “to move on,” but he had later had “a change of heart.” The CNN report recalled that an unnamed source had said Zucker had intended to quit soon after President Joe Biden's inauguration.

The report said Zucker was considered “a driving force” at the news organization, and his decision meant “some short-term stability” for the network.

News anchor Jake Tapper told the New York Times: Zucker was “the best boss I’ve ever had.” Another anchor, Don Lemon, told the paper that he would try to persuade Zucker to stay past the end of the year.

Overcoming an 'Identity Crisis'

The CNN report noted that before Zucker arrived in 2013, the network had been said to suffer from an "identity crisis." The report explained that the Fox network had long oriented itself for a right-wing audience at that time, and MSNBC had sought a left-wing audience, leaving CNN "lost" without a politically identifiable audience.

The report also noted that Zucker had become "a boogeyman of sorts" for Trump because of the network's reporting of the president's dishonesty during the presidency of Donald Trump.

Trump and Zucker

The New York Times reported that earlier in Zucker’s career, he had been an executive at NBC, where he had promoted Trump’s show “The Apprentice.” This show had played a role in polishing “the Trump myth” the newspaper said.

Twitter users have posted old photos showing Trump smiling together with Zucker.

The New York Times characterized Zucker as a "relentless, ratings-obsessed executive" who "followed the ratings" and lavished attention on Trump soon after the start of the celebrity's presidential campaign in 2015.

The paper said at times CNN had ignored Trump's rivals in the Republican primaries.

The newspaper quoted Jeffery Lord, a one-time CNN contributor and Trump follower, as saying Zucker "deliberately" transformed the news organization into "an anti-Trump network" soon after the Trump presidency "got out of control."

Compared to Ted Turner

The CNN report said Zucker had “a producer’s brain, a nose for news and an eye for talent.” The New York Times noted that Zucker had boosted the network’s yearly profits to more than $1 billion. CNN quoted Jason Kilar, the chief of WarnerMedia, saying that Zucher’s contributions to the network were comparable to those of Ted Turner, the network founder.

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