Jeff Zucker Named New President of CNN
And from the archives, Maureen Dowd wrote in 2000:
The 44-year-old is a very smart guy who made a success as a wunderkind at “The Today Show,” but many in the Hollywood community have always regarded him as a condescending and arrogant East Coaster, a network Napoleon who never bothered to learn about developing shows and managing talent. At a moment when Zucker’s comedy double-fault was smashing relationships in L.A., he showed the talent of a Mafia boss for separating himself from the hit when he went and played in a New York City tennis tournament. (He lost in the first round.)
“Zucker is a case study in the most destructive media executive ever to exist,” said a honcho at another network. “You’d have to tell me who else has taken a once-great network and literally destroyed it.”
Zucker’s critics are ranting that first he killed comedy, losing the NBC franchise of Thursday night “Must See TV,” where “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “Will & Grace” once hilariously reigned; then he killed drama, failing to develop successors to the formidable “ER,” “West Wing,” and “Law & Order”; then he killed the 10 o’clock hour by putting Jay Leno on at a time when people expect to be told a story; and then he killed late night by putting on a quirky redhead who did not have the bland mass-market appeal of Leno and who couldn’t compete with the peerless late-night comedian NBC had stupidly lost 16 years ago, David Letterman.
Good night, and good luck, CNN.