CNN Chief, Jeff Zucker, Talks ‘Political Agenda’ Behind AT&T Lawsuit, DNC’s Relationship with Media at SXSW

Jeff Zucker (CREDIT: ERIK PENDZICH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)
Jeff Zucker (CREDIT: ERIK PENDZICH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

CNN president Jeff Zucker delivered a keynote speech at SXSW Saturday that saw him expressing belief that there was political motivation behind the Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop AT&T’s acquisition of his parent company, Time Warner, as well as discussing the Democratic National Convention’s relationship with the media.

Referring to comments Trump said in regard to filing suits against the deal, Zucker stated that he believed there was political motivation to block progress. “I believe that it came from the highest levels of the government,” he said.

Earlier this week members of Congress petitioned the Department of Justice to look into whether or not there was interference with the deal as a report surfaced alleging that Trump ordered Gary Cohn to pressure the DOJ to block the merger.

“There was absolutely no basis for the government doing what they were doing,” he said. “Clearly there was a political agenda at work, and I don’t think it takes being a genius to [see] where that comes from.”

Zucker’s appearance at the Austin, Texas-based entertainment and tech festival came less than a week after taking on both sports and news under WarnerMedia. In discussing his lateral move within the company, Zucker said that although his “two passions in life are news and sports” CNN would remain “fundamentally about news.”

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SOURCE: DANIELLE HOUTKOOPER
Variety