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Television news broadcaster CNN announces Jeff Zucker as new chief

NEW YORK -- Incoming CNN President Jeff Zucker said Thursday that he intends to make the network more “vibrant and exciting” while broadening the programming on television's original but struggling cable news outlet.

The former NBC Universal chief's long-rumored selection as CNN president was announced Thursday. He'll start in January and report to Phil Kent, who runs all the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

Zucker will lead a large and profitable news organization with 23 separate businesses worldwide that has come to be defined by problems at the flagship U.S. network, particularly in prime time. CNN has never been able to solve the conundrum of how to keep viewers on quiet news days, while Fox News Channel and MSNBC have passed it by with combative programming that appeals to political partisans.

“The key is that CNN remain true to its ideals of great journalism but at the same time be vibrant and exciting,” Zucker said. “Just because you're not partisan doesn't mean you can't be exciting.”

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