CNN chief Jeff Zucker this morning announced to staff his new plan for goosing ratings on HLN: “driving HLN’s programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years.”
Bye bye, Albie Hecht.
“I am extremely proud of the transformation we have accomplished and I want to thank all of the talented people I’ve had the privilege of working with at HLN and especially thank Jeff and John Martin for all of their support,” said HLN EVP and GM Hecht. Hecht was hired in fall of ’13 to transform the network and, in February of 2014 announced he was turning the HLN into “the first TV network for the social media generation,” vowing to “redefine TV news and information, driven by what’s trending, being shared and going viral across all screens.”
Today, Zucker announced his new strategy for the network:
November 24, 2015
I want to share some news about HLN.
We continue to see great progress – and many of you have heard me talk about it recently. HLN is the second-fastest growing network in all of cable, and this year had its highest share of the cable news market in its history. Morning Express has surged to the number two spot in cable morning news. The Daily Share, the social lifestyle video network that launched less than a year ago, is number one in engagement among cable news and its competitive set. And the prime time lineup features some of the biggest personalities in cable, and they are integral to HLN’s success story.
As we look towards 2016, I now believe that by driving HLN’s programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years, we can take that success to even greater heights.
In light of that, Albie Hecht has decided it makes sense for him to move on. With the support of an incredible team at the network, he has done a terrific job running HLN. And it hasn’t been easy. His vision, creativity, persistence and commitment have been unwavering and he has been instrumental to HLN’s progress.
HLN is in good hands. Ken Jautz, who knows HLN as well as almost anyone at CNN, will step in on an interim basis to make sure we don’t miss a beat. And there is an exceptionally talented group of people who remain at the helm and throughout the organization that I know will continue to keep HLN strong.
I want to thank Albie for being a terrific partner to me, and the team at HLN. What we have accomplished would not have been possible without him and he will be missed.