CNN’s had a rough few months journalistically, with the latest hit being a discredited story about former Trump transition official Anthony Scaramucci. Now, one news outlet is saying network President Jeff Zucker will be “neutralized” if a proposed merger with AT&T goes through.
The proposed $85 billion acquisition of CNN parent company Time Warner has fueled speculation in recent weeks that Zucker might be a casualty, particularly after a number of missteps involving the Trump administration, the New York Post reported.
The Scaramucci story — in which CNN falsely reported, from a single, anonymous source, that the Trump-linked financier was being investigated for his ties to a Russian fund — was very publicly retracted and led to the forced resignation of three of the journalists involved after Scaramucci threatened a $100 million lawsuit, the Post had previously reported.
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“On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” the retraction read. “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted.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.”
That — along with several other gaffes — has led to the probability that Zucker’s days at CNN are numbered. A source told the Post that the Scaramucci story, along with the firing of “Believer” host Reza Aslan after a profane tweet about the president, has made the network “too polarizing an asset for execs at the blue chip company.”
“There was early talk about the way Zucker managed that wasn’t a good fit for the new organization,” a source told the Post. “They were eyeing ways to neutralize him.”
In a Wednesday statement, AT&T seemed to confirm Zucker’s job wasn’t safe… [CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE]