On a Cold Winter's night back in January, Jeff Zucker sat in a New York restaurant and ordered his meal.
Sitting across the table from him was Chris Cuomo from ABC.
As they ate dinner and chatted, Zucker was doing his best to woo Cuomo to leave ABC and come to CNN.
Zucker promised Cuomo that CNN was going to redo the morning show and "get it right this time." He wanted Cuomo to be the Anchor of that show.
ABC was also doing their best to keep Cuomo, but in the end the Jeff Zucker charm won Cuomo over. Cuomo told ABC he was he was leaving and headed to the cable news network.
Zucker and Cuomo talked about the female co-anchor of the new morning show. Zucker brought up Erin Burnett's name and talked about how he thought the two of them would be an awesome team.
Cuomo signed on to the idea and he figured Burnett would be sitting next to him when the new show launched.
Word got out after Cuomo's hire that Zucker had his eyes on Burnett. It was widely reported that Cuomo and Burnett would front the new CNN morning show.
There was just one problem.
John Ferriter (pictured) from Octagon, Burnett's agent.
Ferriter knew that Zucker wanted Burnett in the mornings, he also knew that Burnett's contract stated that she "must have a show in prime time." Ferriter figured that he held all the bargaining chips.
Word is that he told Zucker that Burnett would go to the mornings, but only for a lot more money. Burnett is already one of the highest paid talent at CNN and Zucker really didn't want to shell out more money.
Ferriter continued to stand firm. More money or Erin stays where she is, was Ferriter's offer to the CNN boss.
Zucker tried to deal with Ferriter, but finally even he was frustrated. At that point Zucker figured there was no way he was going to get a deal done with Burnett or her agent. He decided to move on and search for someone else.
FTVLive got word that Zucker had thrown in the towel on Burnett and had started looking elsewhere. We reported that Burnett going to mornings was "dead in the water."
Others picked up on the story and started get information of their own. Stories appeared on other websites and in newspapers. The problem was most of the stories casted Burnett as trying for a money grab and making her look like a "greedy bitch."
Burnett's agent should have been the one taking the heat. That is what all good agents do for their clients. They make themselves out to be the bad guy, while the client stays clean. That wasn't happening here and Burnett was not happy in the light she was being cast.
Burnett reached out to Zucker without her agent. The two started talking again and maybe working towards a deal. Burnett told Zucker she did not want him to start his reign at CNN with such a negotiating mess.
Zucker continues to look at other potential anchors for the morning show, but he still likes the idea of teaming up Burnett and Cuomo together. And if Burnett's agent stays out of the picture or at least gets a grip on reality, that might just happen.