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CNN (tv network)
CNN's 'big story' approach to Freddie Gray
CNN's 'big story' approach to Freddie Gray

When Jeff Zucker became president of CNN at the beginning of 2013, it was tanking in the ratings. Viewers tuned in when there was a big story but not for regular news or talk shows. Mr. Zucker was the one-time wunderkind producer of the Today show; he was 26 when he took over that show in 1992 and rose from there to head NBC. At CNN, Mr. Zucker soon revealed his model for turning ratings around. If the audience came to CNN when there was a big story, make sure there was always a big story. Only a few weeks after Mr. Zucker took the helm, a cruise ship lost power in the Gulf of Mexico. As it slowly made its way to port in Mississippi, CNN went wall-to-wall. Helicopters hovered over the...

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