"I have known Jeff for a quarter of a century and he is one of the most experienced executives in the business," Ailes said. "He is a talented producer with solid strategic skills and I'm sure he'll make a difference at CNN. I wish Jeff the best."
Tom Johnson, president of CNN during the 1990s, called Zucker's hiring a "splendid choice."
"I would hope it would be a return to CNN where news trumps all programming so CNN gets back to its basics of being a breaking news network," Johnson said.
There was no word on the futures of Ken Jautz and Mark Whitaker, who have been running the flagship network on a day-to-day basis since Walton's departure. Zucker will also have management control over HLN, CNN International and the CNN.com website.
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