Jeff Zucker, the new head of CNN, said on Monday that the news channel has gained a reputation as “a spare tire in the trunk. You only take it out when you really need it.”

Zucker made the remark Monday at the Atlanta Press Club, his first public comments since taking over CNN Worldwide in late 2012. CNN is “not one of the four tires on the car all the time,” he said, according to Access Atlanta. “The challenge for us is how to make CNN more essential, how to make it one of the four tires on the car.”

Amid the changes he’s bringing to the network, Zucker affirmed CNN won’t take the same path as MSNBC and Fox News. “There’s plenty of room in the middle. But it doesn’t give you the right to be boring. Too often, we haven’t been vibrant enough.”

@eScarry

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