Several media executives and on-air personalities have announced or are reportedly considering runs for New York City mayor in 2021, including CNN President Jeff Zucker, billionaire businessman and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis and Guardian Angels Founder and WABC radio host Curtis Sliwa.
Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioEMILY's List announces early endorsement of Hochul More than 200 women, transgender inmates to be transferred from Rikers Island Achieving equity through mediocrity: Why elimination of gifted programs should worry us all MORE (D) is term-limited next year, meaning a new mayor will be elected next year.
Sliwa, 66, formally announced his candidacy in March and is running as a Republican.
“I’m the only candidate who’s been locked up 77 times, so I know how the system can screw the accused," said Sliwa, who formed the Guardian Angels, a vigilante watchdog group, back in 1979. “No cash bail makes
a lot of sense, but we were promised it would be for non-violent crimes.”
Catsimatidis is laying the groundwork for his second mayoral run as a Republican.
He ran in 2013 and narrowly lost to former Mass Transit Association head and deputy mayor Joe Lhota.
Catsimatidis is chairman of Red Apple Group, which owns the Gristedes supermarket chain, several energy companies and 77-WABC radio. He announced on Wednesday the formation of a 2021 mayoral exploratory committee.
“I want to do a coalition of Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives,” Catsimatidis, also an investor in The Hill, said.
His daughter, Andrea Catsimatidis, serves as chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party.
Jeff Zucker, 55, hinted at a possible run for mayor in a recent interview with New York Times media columnist Ben Smith, with the CNN head stating the Big Apple is going to need "a very strong mayor in the aftermath" of the coronavirus crisis.
"I always like a challenge," Zucker added.
Speculation of a Zucker-for-mayor run has existed going back to 2015, with the former NBCUniversal president telling Smith at that time he would consider running for elected office at some point.
Zucker began his media career as a researcher for NBC Sports in 1986 before jumping to the news side and quickly becoming executive producer of the highly successful "Today" show.