With Fox News Channel still topping the cable news universe, Rupert Murdoch is feeling magnanimous about the competition. In an interview with WSJ Live, the News Corp chief said he thinks new CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker might be able to make the network competitive again. “You are seeing big changes going on at CNN now, they have a new head of it, they are popularizing it, if you like. Instead of having the Ted Turner saying ‘this is the New York Times of the air,” Murdoch offered, “they are using helicopters, running around being much more pop, if you will. I won’t say that they are politically different than what they have always been, but just the way they’re presenting it, they have sharpened up in the last couple of months.” Named to his new postion on November 29, Zucker took officially took over at CNN on January 21. As well as hiring new several new on-air correspondents since then, the network was widely mocked for its expansive February 14 coverage of the Carnival Triumph’s tug to port. That coverage did bring CNN a big one day ratings boost. Despite Murdoch’s seeming encouragement of CNN’s new direction, Fox News still gets ratings that best the combined totals of CNN and MSNBC.
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