(Bloomberg) -- CNN President Jeff Zucker has renewed his contract through the 2020 U.S. elections, according to a person familiar with the matter, leaving him in charge as the cable news network prepares for a new owner.
Zucker, 53, signed the deal in recent months, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Vanity Fair previously reported on the move.
Like other cable-news executives, Zucker has benefited from the political rise of Donald Trump, a TV ratings magnet. CNN’s audience, however, has slipped compared with last year, and it’s locked in a battle with MSNBC for second place behind Fox News.
Meanwhile, CNN and the rest of Time Warner Inc. are girding for an ownership change. This week, a federal judge ruled that AT&T Inc. could acquire the company, which also owns HBO, TNT and the Warner Bros. studio. It remains unclear what changes, if any, the telecom giant plans to make at CNN, which is a frequent target of the president.
As an NBC executive, Zucker broadcast “The Apprentice,” the reality show that catapulted Trump to national fame. But since taking office, Trump has used his Twitter account to attack Zucker and CNN. He’s also suggested that Zucker’s job was in jeopardy.
“They should clean up and strengthen CNN and get back to honest reporting!” Trump said in April.
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