Paley Dialogues

Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide

Thursday, December 3, 2015
7:30 am to 9:00 am
New York

A conversation about evolving CNN's brand and political coverage amidst disruption in the world of news.

Jeff Zucker
President, CNN Worldwide

Djeff Zucker

Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide, oversees CNN's 23 branded news and information businesses, including the U.S. television network, CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital. Zucker is the former president and CEO of NBC Universal. He spent more than two decades at NBC, assuming the top position in February 2007. He headed up the $16 billion global media and entertainment content company, which includes the NBC broadcast network, its news division and all of its cable entities, including MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Oxygen and Syfy. Earlier, he had been president of the NBC Universal Television Group from May 2004, rising to chief executive officer of the NBC Universal Television Group in December 2005. Prior to that, he was president of the Entertainment, News & Cable Group since December 2003, and president of NBC Entertainment since December 2000.

Zucker's ascent at NBC began during his nearly eight-year tenure as the executive producer of NBC News' Today. Under his leadership, the morning show propelled to the No. 1 position, which it consistently held throughout his term. Zucker was named executive producer of Today in January 1992 at age 26, which made him the youngest executive producer in the program's history. Concurrent with his role at Today, he served as executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw in February and March 1993.

Zucker joined NBC in 1986 as a researcher for NBC Sports' coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. From 1986 to 1988, he traveled the world, compiling and writing background information for NBC Sports commentators and producers. In January 1989, he joined NBC News as a field producer for Today.
Prior to joining CNN, Zucker co-created and executive produced "Katie," the syndicated daytime show hosted by Katie Couric. A five-time Emmy Award winner, Zucker graduated from Harvard College in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in American history. He served as president of The Harvard Crimson from 1985 to 1986. Born and raised in Miami, Zucker and his wife have four children and reside in New York.

Moderated by:

Ben Smith
Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed

Ben Smith

Ben Smith is BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief. Since joining the company in January 2012, Smith has built a newsroom of over 450 reporters and editors, led expansion of over twenty content verticals and built teams across the world. Under his leadership, BuzzFeed’s coverage has grown to include politics, business, investigative reporting, longform journalism and entertainment while growing the site’s traffic to over 200M monthly unique visitors. Smith was called "one of the most talented and admired scoop-mongers in the game” by The New Republic, named one of Fast Company’s "Most Creative People in Business", and featured as FORTUNE’s "40 Under 40" for his work at BuzzFeed.

Prior to BuzzFeed, Smith was senior political writer for POLITICO from 2007 to 2011. Before POLITICO, he wrote a column and a blog for the New York Daily News, started New York’s first political blog, The Politicker, for the New York Observer, as well as the political site, Room Eight, after working as City Hall Bureau Chief for the New York Sun.

Smith has written for publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New York Post and The New Republic. He was born and raised in Manhattan, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.


This event is exclusive to Media Council members and other invited guests. To find out more about Media Council membership, contact mediacouncil@paleycenter.org.

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