Billionaire Trump Donor to Take Over CNN, Turn It into ‘Fox News Lite,’ Jim Acosta Fears

A billionaire Trump-donor may have been behind Jeff Zucker’s CNN resignation, leaving Jim Acosta and his colleagues fearing that the far-left network will be transformed into “Fox News Lite.”

Wealthy pro-Trump financier John Malone is the majority owner of Discovery, the company that will soon run CNN after Zucker’s departure.

Malone is a vocal Trump supporter who donated $250,000 to the 45th president’s inauguration in 2017, alone.

Malone is also on record saying: “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.

“I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent.”

In wake of Zucker’s departure, CNN held a meeting with the CEO of the parent company and the network’s stars.

During the meeting, several CNN staffers and reporters voiced their concerns about the network’s direction moving forward.

“If we had not had Jeff here during the Trump administration, we would have probably been taken out and you would have something like Fox News lite on the air right now,” Jim Acosta said.

“It’s a rather delicate time, not just for this country but this business.”

But it is not just Acosta and the other network stars that are panicking, however.

Some Democratic members of Congress feel “devastated for Democracy” about losing Zucker as they fear they may soon lose the party’s mouthpiece.

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From Vanity Fair: Toward the end of the meeting, in which prominent CNN journalists went hard at Kilar [Jason Kilar, CEO of parent company WarnerMedia] over Zucker’s resignation, special correspondent Jamie Gangel spoke up.

“The first calls I got this morning were from four members of the January 6 committee, who felt devastated for our democracy, because Jeff was not going to be around to make sure that CNN is able to do its job,” she said (later clarifying to colleagues that she meant to say four congresspeople, including one member of the committee).

Deadline reported: “Discovery’s largest shareholder, John Malone, a critic of CNN, made it known that corporate procedures had to be followed to the letter in regards to Zucker, we hear.

“Being that WarnerMedia’s standards of business conduct require disclosure of relationships that develop with a boss and subordinate, Zucker’s goose was officially cooked.”

With CNN’s ratings in the toilet and Fox News’s soaring, Acosta is smart to worry that any new management, let alone one picked by a Trump supporter, would make major changes.

From The Daily Mail:

Meanwhile, speculation continues to grow over whether Zucker was forced out at CNN over his open-secret affair not because bosses had any real issue with it, but because the scandal of it and his ongoing war with Cuomo could have threatened AT&T’s $43billion deal with Discovery. 

AT&T bought WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner) in 2018 for $84billion. It was a disastrous deal that the telecoms giant has been trying to unwind for years.

It, finally, is now in the finalizing stage of a $43billion sale of WarnerMedia to Discovery.  

According to Puck media reporter Dylan Byers, Zucker and Gollust were due to take on senior roles within the new company, under the leadership of Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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