Jeff Zucker
Jeff Zucker

New York is the media capital of the world but beyond the rarefied air of Manhattan does anybody beyond Fox News really care about the insider coverage of the Jeff Zucker/Chris Cuomo/Andrew Cuomo saga over at CNN?

We’ve been bombarded with sob stories about how CNN’s well-compensated staff is dejected, confused and demoralized about the firing of Zucker.

Anchor Don Lemon used valuable airtime to thank Zucker for “everything you did for everyone at this network and for what you did to the entire country — for the entire country.”

And then there is concern about the launch of CNN’s new streaming service. Will the embattled network pull it off? Did Chris Wallace make the wrong move jumping to the new CNN offering?

And will CNN’s staff suffer a total meltdown following completion of the $43B WarnerMedia/Discovery merger?

As Cher says in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it.”

The New York Times has gone completely overboard with CNN. It ran an epic Feb. 16 front page article called “For CNN’s Chief, Walls Were Slowly Closing In.”

That piece featured a quote from Risa Heller, Zucker’s PR rep, saying, “Jeff was never aware of the full extent of what Chris Cuomo was doing for his brother, which is why Chris was fired.”

Chris Cuomo’s PR rep, Steven Goldberg, chimed in: “Mr. Cuomo felt very close personally and professionally to Mr. Zucker, which is part of what makes this so difficult and hurtful.”

Neither Heller nor Goldberg provided comment about WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s memo that gave the old heave-ho to Zucker and Cuomo. Enough already.

Emily Steel, Joki Kantor, Michael Grynbaum, James Stewart and John Koblin bylined that more than 3,500-word gem. Ben Smith contributed reporting while Sheelagh McNeill and Susan Beachly handled research.

That talent could have been put to better use, elsewhere.

John Malone, CEO of Liberty Media and a major shareholder of Discovery, offered the best outcome for CNN.

He recommends that CNN drop its personality-driven coverage of the news and get back to doing journalism the way that it used to do under the leadership of Ted Turner.

That would be a refreshing re-launch of the network.

Enough is enough. Institutional Shareholder Services wants investors at Apple to vote against CEO Tim Cook’s whopping $99M compensation package.

That package includes $712K for personal use of a private jet and $631K for personal security outlays.

The advisory group told clients that it has “a significant concern” with the $82M stock award that Apple granted Cook, according to a letter that was reviewed by the Financial Times.

Cook is one of America’s most talented CEOs and he certainly delivered for Apple shareholders as the company in January became the first to crack the $3T market capitalization mark.

Since the shareholder vote on Apple pay is only advisory, it’s up to the board to decide on whether it wants to go forward on the hefty pay package.

But wouldn’t it be refreshing if Cook stepped forward to say that his comp is over-the-top?

That would be a magnificent PR move that could spur others to follow his lead.

Eric Adams has been New York City mayor for about six minutes and he already is complaining about his press coverage, which has been pretty fawning so far.

The New York Post, which made life miserable for Adams’ predecessor Bill deBlasio, has applauded his tough-on-crime and pro-police policy, while the New York Times has debated whether the mayor is a vegan.

Speaking to a group of reporters on Feb. 16, Adams said: "Do you guys already write the stories before I do something and just print out what you’ve already written? I’m going to stop doing off-topics because if you already have your perception of me—and you are already going to stick to what you think I am—then why am I doing this?”

Adams doesn’t seem to realize that he needs the press more than it needs him, because mayors come and go.

Unless he develops a thicker skin, Adams will be headed back to Brooklyn or Fort Lee, NJ, four years from now.

Pox of them all… The pandemic blues hit America pretty hard in 2021 as Pew Research Center reports that trust in major US institutions headed southward during the past year.

At year-end 2021, seventy-eight percent of respondents expressed a fair amount of confidence that medical scientists will act in the public’s interest. That slipped from 85 percent in December 2020.

Only 29 percent had a great deal of confidence that medical scientists would do the right thing. That was down from 40 percent in 2020.

The once sacrosanct US military even took beating as only a quarter of respondents are confident that it would act in the public’s interest. That fell from 39 percent in 2020.

Less than three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents expressed some confidence the military would do the right thing, down from 83 percent in 2020.

People’s overall faith in journalism to act in the public interest tumbled from 45 percent to 40 percent.

A mere six percent of Pew’s respondents have great confidence that the media will serve in the public’s interest.

Pew also tracked opinion on police officers, public school principals, religious leaders, business leaders and elected officials.

Each category fell during 2021, a year that began with high hopes that vaccines could contain the COVID-19 pandemic and ended with the Omicron variant spreading throughout the country.