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How Donald Trump Helped Save CNN

Did Trump Save CNN?
Donald Trump and Jeff Zucker attend Sloan Barnett Publication Party for ‘Green Goes with Everything’ hosted by Caryn and Jeff Zucker at The Loeb Boathouse on October 1, 2008 in New York City. (Nick Hunt/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)


If it wasn’t clear before he was elected, Donald Trump makes for good television.

After all, he spent 14 seasons as the host of NBC reality series The Apprentice. And CNN president Jeff Zucker knew his TV potential before the election—and long afterwards, even as now President Trump has publicly called out the channel for “fake news.”

As The New York Times notes, however, CNN has benefited significantly from the emergency of Trump as a political phenomenon. The network’s bread-and-butter has been the breaking news game for the better part of its existence, and had been struggling in the ratings before Trump. And last year, the divisive presidential candidate became “a human breaking-news event.” (Zucker knows Trump well, as he was once president of NBC Entertainment and helped turn his public image and career around with The Apprentice.)

It’s ironic, then, that the two—i.e. the president and the network—seem to be at such odds these days. They helped make each other.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

In this video from AdAge, watch Zucker talk about his relationship with Trump back in their days together at NBC.