Jeff Zucker has a proven track record while at NBC, but how will he tackle the unique issues at CNN?
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Once you read the struggles at CNN, you might think it will be impossible to rebuild this iconic news brand. Fox has the conservative audience, while MSNBC has grabbed up the liberals, so there's hardly any real estate left to take if CNN wants to target a chunk of the political spectrum.
As this must-read outline of the current state of CNN points out, this should have been a good year, because of the hotly-contested presidential election. While CNN has always been able to count on an election-year bump, its ratings are down 16%.
But there are positives. It has the unmatched ability to cover breaking news worldwide. Its website remains a go-to destination for news junkies. And it makes money.
However, its prime time programming is now finding it tough to compete with MSNBC, much less Fox. CNN's brand is in need of an overhaul, which means anchors and hosts like Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan have to wonder how they will fit into Zucker's plans.
Keep your eye on CNN in 2013. Now that political season is over, it's the perfect time for Zucker to get to work without also having to cover a presidential campaign. But don't expect quick fixes. It's taken more than a decade of decline for CNN to get to this point, so it'll likely be years before the patient can be wheeled into the recovery room after what's sure to be massive surgery.