At CNN, Balancing Bieber with Baltimore, Bourdain, and More

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By Chris Ariens Comment

zucker304x200At the opening of the RealScreen Summit in Washington, DC Sunday, CNN president Jeff Zucker defended his network’s coverage of the arrest of Justin Bieber.

“We devoted almost 24 hours to what happened in Maryland yesterday,” said Zucker referring to the shooting at a Baltimore-area mall Saturday. “[And] we had two hours of interviews with [leaders from Japan, Iran and Egypt]. No other news organization had anywhere near the same amount of coverage. But you don’t ask me about that, because it’s more interesting to ask about Bieber than what’s going on in Iran. CNN is about interviewing world leaders, and covering what happened in Maryland, and about Anthony Bourdain, and about Justin Bieber. We have the ability to do all of that.”

“If we rely just on breaking news, that’s probably not a long-term game,” Zucker said to the crowd made up of producers, writers and executives from the unscripted TV world.

Variety has more on Zucker’s talk.