CNN President Jeff Zucker on Friday took a shot at Fox News saying, "[T]he Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.”
This led RNC chairman Reince Priebus to strike back on Twitter writing hours later, "Hey Jeff Zucker, we're the Republican Party and we speak for ourselves, pal. Have a great weekend":
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) January 10, 2014
For some background, FNC CEO Roger Ailes said the following during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday:
THR: What do you think of Jeff Zucker saying CNN is now focused on making shows and moving away from newscasts?
ROGER AILES: I'm actually thrilled. MSNBC has [already] announced they're out of the news business. They have several different hosts, but it's always the same show: Republicans are no good. The NBC News people won't get caught dead on MSNBC. They could have a traffic accident in front of the window, and they wouldn't cover it. For CNN to also throw in the towel and announce they're out of the news business is quite interesting. That means Fox has won the cable news wars. [Zucker] had a big hit with a whale one night [the documentary Blackfish]. I guess he's going to do whales a lot. If I were Discovery, I'd be worried.
Speaking at the TV Critics Association tour Friday, Zucker responded saying an upcoming Ailes biography “confirms what we’ve known along, which is the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.”
Zucker added that Ailes' criticism was "meant to deflect your attention from the book this week” and “silly.”
On Wednesday, the New York Times released snippets of Gabriel Sherman's new book about Ailes that contains some very unflattering anecdotes.
As such, the cable news wars played out in print this week as well on television.