Zucker to CNN…Presumably

Jeff Zucker

It is 3pm Wednesday, and the news of former NBCUni’s chief Jeff Zucker’s ascension to the leadership of CNN Worldwide has still not yet been confirmed by Time-Warner, nor Mr. Zucker himself. Even so, the Twitterstream was buzzing last night and today with hedged assertions that this news was manifest.

Leading the charge was The New York Times‘s intrepid TV reporter Brian Stelter who broke the story with a carefully parsed piece that all but confirmed Mr. Zucker’s new job. Based on Mr. Stelter’s very credible, but unnamed sources, the piece soon morphed into one that examined the bigger picture of the challenges the new leader of CNN News would face in differentiating the brand from MNBC (NBCTV.com?) and the Fox News Channel.

What caught this blogger’s eye was the day-after Twitter banter between The Times’s Mr. Stelter, the Wall Street Journal’s Katie Rosman and Bloomberg’s Edmund Lee.  It provides a fascinating window into the editorial considerations weighed absent a corporate source or the subject of the story himself.

Not sure if I got the chronology down, but the tweets are insightful.

WSJ’s Katie Rosman

NYT’s Brian Stelter (AP)
Bloomberg’s Edmund Lee

Repeating the alert with CORRECT link: Jeff Zucker has been chosen as the new president of CNN Worldwide, sources say: nyti.ms/WXBxf4
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 28, 2012

Jeffrey Zucker Expected to Be Next President of CNN, @brianstelter reports nyti.ms/Tl6PWU (With a quote from me about CNN’s problems.)
— Jay Rosen(@jayrosen_nyu) November 28, 2012

@brianstelter to be further fair @nypost @latimes were first to name Zucker. The @nytimes did move the ball, but readers can decide how far
— Edmund Lee (@edmundlee) November 28, 2012

@edmundlee i can’t believe i thought i could get away with burying zucker’s name in the 4th paragraph… 🙂
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 28, 2012

the power of the @nytimes: it reported the same “expects to” story abt media exec previously reported elsewhere, but now people believe it
— Edmund Lee (@edmundlee) November 28, 2012

@edmundlee I was surprised by how much play the paper gave to reporting that was so carefully hedged.
— katierosman (@katierosman) November 28, 2012

@brianstelter When I first read, he was in lede. Now top of story is more about what new CNN prez faces than JZ. #kremlinology
— katierosman (@katierosman) November 28, 2012

@katierosman but that said, there was some spirited debate about whether to move it up last night. story might have been changed temporarily
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 28, 2012

@brianstelter Yes, his name matters to a handful, the network matter to many
— katierosman (@katierosman) November 28, 2012

UPDATE 11/29 10amET: CNN announces Jeff Zucker named President of CNN Worldwide — press release