Jeff Zucker Tells CNNers ‘Catch Your Breath…Find Someone to Lean On’

By Chris Ariens 

As most of you know, working in a TV newsroom can be trying, even (sometimes especially) on a slow news day. The job often ends up on those worst lists. But you all do it anyway, day in and day out because you’re passionate about it.

But when a spate of bad news occurs, as has these past few weeks, it’s easy to either get desensitized to the tragedy or allow it to overwhelm you. This morning CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker sent a note to his staff thanking them, and reminding them “to take a moment, or two, or whatever you need, to catch your breath, ask for help, or find someone to lean on.” As Zucker points out, and you all know well, the next big news story is just around the corner.

Here’s Zucker’s note:


July 8, 2016

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last month.

As a company, we have moved from one difficult story to another, often without the opportunity to catch our breath.

It began with the horrific attack at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Terror attacks in Istanbul, Dhaka, and Baghdad followed quickly, and have consumed our international team’s full attention.

In the United States, this week has brought fatal shootings of black men by police officers, both accompanied by video that is difficult and painful to watch.

And then, last night, the senseless and indefensible ambush of police officers protecting a community’s right to demonstrate and speak. The worst single attack on police officers in the United States since 9/11. Unimaginable.

All of this while the demands of an already busy news cycle continued. Every one of these events unfolded on our television screens and digital platforms, with around the clock coverage from every division at CNN around the world.

I want to acknowledge how difficult it has been to go from one story to another, each so sad and profound. The world relies on CNN to bring them this news. And you have not let the world down. But I know it has not been easy.

I want to say thank you. And I want to ask each of you to take a moment, or two, or whatever you need, to catch your breath, ask for help, or find someone to lean on.

The calendar is not about to let up. We are about to enter an even busier time. So, please, make sure you take the time you need to take care of yourself.

My most heartfelt thanks to each of you.