FILE - In this April 18, 2018 file photo, CNN boss Jeff Zucker attends the Tribeca Film Festival opening night world premiere of "Love, Gilda" in New York. Zucker, is undergoing heart surgery and will take a six-week leave of absence from running the news network. CNN said Zucker made the announcement to his staff Thursday, July 19, following a morning editorial meeting. His top deputy, Michael Bass, will be in charge during his absence.
Photo: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File
Photo: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

Jeff Zucker takes six-week leave at CNN for heart surgery

Originally posted Thursday, July 19, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

CNN chief Jeff Zucker told staff this morning he is going to take six weeks off for elective surgery to address a long-standing heart condition.

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter broke the news on Twitter. 

“He assured everyone he is going to be just fine,” Stelter wrote.

Zucker, 53, has a reputation as a hands-on boss and has reshaped the network in his own image since he took over in 2013. Fueled by the rise of Trump, CNN has profits of around $1 billion a year. Zucker will be spelled temporarily by Michael Bass, CNN’s programming executive vice president, according to

The veteran TV executive had a range of health issues over the years. He was treated twice for colon cancer in his 30s. In his 40s, he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition caused by an abnormal thickness in the heart muscle that restricts blood flow, according to a 2014 New York magazine profile. In 2013, soon after taking over CNN, he suffered from Bell’s Palsy, a type of facial paralysis which prevented him from smiling for months

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.