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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