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CNN President Jeff Zucker to Exit After 2021

The CNN chief told staffers Thursday he plans to stay at the helm for the year

CNN’s Jeff Zucker will depart the company after 2021, he told staffers Thursday.

According to multiple sources with knowledge, the CNN president confirmed in a morning editorial call that he will stay in his role for the duration of his contract, meaning he will be there through the year.

This comes amid speculation about his future — and, thus, CNN’s future — and about his potential political ambitions. He was expected to step down early this year, and, per people familiar with Thursday’s call, admitted he was considering it before changing his mind. Had he used the conclusion of Donald Trump’s presidency as an occasion to bow out, he wouldn’t have been alone: The Washington Post’s executive editor Marty Baron and ABC News’ president James Goldston both cited the end of that era as a contributing factor in their recent announcements that they are exiting their respective roles.

Zucker’s decision to stay coincides with some major wins for the network. CNN had its most-watched month ever in January and was the top cable news network across the board as a result, according to Nielsen Media Research ratings TheWrap reported earlier this week.

In a month defined by the Capitol riots that left multiple people dead, the second impeachment of outgoing president Donald Trump and the inauguration of President Joe Biden, CNN averaged 1.907 million total viewers in total-day ratings, of whom 531,000 were in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54.