The President of CNN, Jeff Zucker, unexpectedly stepped down yesterday after admitting to an undisclosed, consensual relationship with a colleague – shocking the media world. Zucker is one of those people who has had a weirdly outsized effect on the modern age, given his relative obscurity.
A brief timeline:
* Hired as the President of NBC Entertainment in 2000, Zucker quickly oversaw NBC’s fall from America’s most watched network, to its fourth.
* Attempting to resuscitate ratings, he commissioned a brand new reality show: The Apprentice – which revived Donald Trump’s public profile just as he was undergoing his third corporate bankruptcy.
* When The Apprentice ran out of steam, he rebooted it as The Celebrity Apprentice – which revived Donald Trump’s public profile just as he was undergoing his fourth corporate bankruptcy.
* Made Piers Morgan a primetime star on NBC; first as a judge on America’s Got Talent, then on The Celebrity Apprentice.
* Moved from NBC to CNN in 2013, where – after watching him lose control of an interview with a then-barely-known Alex Jones of InfoWars – axed Piers Morgan, sending him back to Britain for us to put up with again.