Zucker will join in January, when he will be responsible for a portfolio that includes 23 branded news and information services including CNN US, CNN International and HLN.
Zucker will report to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting System.
“Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success,” said Kent. “He built and sustained the number-one brand in morning news, and under his watch NBC’s signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism.”
In recent years the domestic CNN has struggled against the partisan Fox News and MSNBC channels. Zucker has said CNN will maintain its neutral stance.
Zucker began his career with NBC as a researcher for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. He went on to executive-produce NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and the network’s coverage of the Gulf War, the 1993 and 1997 presidential inaugurations and the 2000 elections.
Most recently he had been executive producer of the syndicated daytime show Katie, the vehicle for former Today anchor Katie Couric.