Ex-CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who was forced out of CNN last year over his failure to disclose a consensual relationship with a colleague, misses his old lifestyle.
“The biggest difference in my life is the pace,” Zucker said during a recent Lunch with the FT. “For 35 years, my DNA and metabolism was go, go, go, making 30 decisions a day.”
Well, Zucker may be getting ready to restart his old metabolism. Reports state that RedBird IMI, the $1 billion fund Zucker now runs, is offering to repay the $1.2 billion debt owed by the Barclay family to Lloyds Banking Group in order to take control of the bankrupt Telegraph and Spectator publications. This will entail a $600 million loan to the Barclay family.
Zucker, who was on the hunt for deals, would be thrown back into the daily news world and salvaging the publications from receivership.
For the record, RedBird IMI is jointly backed by the Abu Dhabi-based International Media Investments group and Gerry Cardinale. According to FT, it has bought into a company that would turn Mo Willems’ children’s stories into video.
What could we expect from this deal?
“RedBird IMI are entirely committed to maintaining the existing editorial team of the Telegraph and Spectator publications, and believe that editorial independence for these titles is essential to protecting their reputation and credibility,” a RedBird spokesperson said in a statement to Mediaite.
Prior to this, interest in the titles was shown by the Daily Mail and General Trust, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Paul Marshall, the co-owner of GB New, according to FT.
It is not clear what Zucker’s role will be if RedBird prevails. But here’s a clue: Zucker told FT that he has only missed CNN one time. “Which is right now, with what’s going on in Israel and Gaza. I think it’s an incredibly important story . . . this is really the only time since I’ve left where I’ve regretted not being part of it.”
Here's his chance.