Speed Reads

one more year

Jeff Zucker plans to step down as CNN president at the end of 2021

CNN President Jeff Zucker is getting ready to "move on."

The CNN boss in a call with staffers on Thursday revealed he's planning to leave as the network's president, a job he's held since 2013, when his contract is up at the end of 2021, The New York Times reports.

"I'm going to stay and finish my current contract, which, as I said, will keep me here until the end of this year," Zucker said, per the Times. "At that point, I do expect to move on."

Zucker's future had been an open question in recent months, with Vanity Fair reporting in November he was expected to leave in the first quarter of 2021. He "felt blindsided by a recent restructuring carried out" by WarnerMedia, leaving "his future at the cable news network in doubt," The Wall Street Journal also reported. On Thursday, Zucker confirmed he was initially planning a more imminent departure, but ultimately chose to stay for one more year.

"The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on now," Zucker said, CNN reports. "But since then I've had a change of heart. And I want to stay. Not forever, but for another year. And I feel really good about this decision."

CNN has recently been enjoying huge ratings success, and the Times writes that Zucker has "been in high spirits in recent weeks," "buoyed by CNN's high ratings" and "basking in" praise from WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar.

His decision to stay on until the end of 2021 provides the network with "some short-term stability," CNN's Brian Stelter wrote. But in its report last November, Vanity Fair quoted one CNN journalist as saying "a lot of people" at the network are concerned that when Zucker does leave, "you won't be able to find someone with his leadership style to fill that role."