CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker Departs As Jeff Zucker Takes Hold

The EVP and managing editor who oversees the editorial tone and direction at CNN is exiting, making way for new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker to handle those duties. Mark Whitaker‘s position will not be filled. “…With Jeff Zucker’s arrival, we have a new leader with his own forceful ideas about where to take CNN’s reporting, programming and brand”, Whitaker wrote in a memo obtained by TV Newser. “For him to succeed, I believe he deserves his own team and management structure and the freedom to communicate one clear vision to the staff.”

Whitaker came aboard two years ago from MSNBC and spearheaded several moves at the cable news network, which suffered a ratings slump during most of 2012. He spearheaded such moves as bringing back Soledad O’Brien to a revamped morning show; adding names like Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock to the network (their shows are scheduled to premiere later this year); and starting a documentary label CNN Films. His departure is the latest in what will be several moves at CNN with Zucker taking over; the new boss just plucked Rachel Nichols from ESPN to host a sports show and is in deep negotiations with 20/20 co-anchor Chris Cuomo to join the morning show. Here’s Whitaker’s full memo to staff: (more…)

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