Skip to comments.CNN shakes up news administration
Posted on 01/23/2004 7:10:30 PM PST by Pikamax
CNN shakes up news administration By Jon Friedman, CBS.MarketWatch.com Last Update: 5:40 PM ET Jan. 23, 2004
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - CNN, a unit of Time Warner, is shaking up its U.S. news organization and announcing a new Washington bureau chief.
Princell Hair, executive vice president and general manager of CNN's U.S. operations who joined CNN last year, said Friday in an internal statement, a copy of which was obtained by CBSMarketWatch.com, that he is making sweeping changes.
In Washington, Hair appointed David Bohrman, the executive producer of Aaron Brown's show "NewsNight," to be the new bureau chief.
Hair's memo said CNN is "working with" the previous bureau chief, Kathryn Kross, "on a new role with the network." He didn't offer any details.
Kross didn't return a phone call placed to her in the Washington bureau.
In Atlanta, where is CNN has its headquarters, some staffers were concerned that Hair's changes underscore the management's desire to centralize what it had often been a de-centralized news-gathering operation, and a consolidation of the general news production.
Hair said to his troops: "As good as this news organization is -- and make no mistake, it is the best in the world -- it can be even better."
CNN is facing considerable pressure to re-establish itself. This is an opportune time for CNN to assert itself, in the early stages of the presidential campaigns as well as a news-rich year that will also include the rebuilding of Iraq, a continuation of the war on terrorism and the Athens Olympics.
In the past few years, CNN has fallen behind Fox News (FOX: news, chart, profile) in the widely followed TV ratings. CNN long held an advantage over its competitors when big stories broke. But even during the Iraqi war last spring, Fox led in the ratings, underscoring CNN's decline in popularity among American TV viewers.
Hair said the company was making changes because it wanted to "increase the degree to which newsgathering and programming are fully integrated. Nowhere is this integration more important than in our DC bureau."
Hair cited Bohrman's "passion for the news and skill as a producer."
CNN's Washington bureau is one of the network's ornaments. Its reporters, led by the White House correspondents John King, Dana Bash and Suzanne Malveaux and the national security reporter David Ensor and Justice Dept. correspondent Kelli Arena, are widely respected.
But CNN has been hurt by defections of some of its on-air correspondents.
In addition, CNN is changing its chiefs' responsibilities in its 11 domestic bureaus, saying the current system of having bureau chiefs in some cases double as reporters "does not fully make sense."
In most cases, "reporters will no longer be domestic bureau chiefs," he said. He will assign full time administrators to be the bureau managers.
In addition, the U.S. will be divided into four regions, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West as well as Washington, DC. Each segment will be managed by a regional bureau chief and a supervising producer will manage daily activities in the outlying bureaus, Hair said.
Boston and New York will make up the Northeast region and will be managed by Karen Curry in New York, Hair said.
Atlanta and Miami will encompass the Southeast and be supervised by MaryLynn Ryan in Atlanta. CNN has expanded the Chicago and Dallas bureaus and added Denver to comprise the Midwest region, which will be led by Edith Chapin in Chicago. Los Angeles bureau chief Pete Janos will direct the Western region, including Seattle and San Francisco.
Jon Friedman is media editor for CBS.MarketWatch.com in New York.
They have now opened the second envelope. It instructed them to "re-organize".
Third envelope still to come...
You'de think CNN would get that.
They might want to reconsider their understanding of regions
It was somewhere in the late 80's that Stuart applied for a job with my stations. He was badly in need of a job. I was impressed with him. I didn't hire him because I knew he would never stay. He was too good to be in my sized market. he would have only stayed until he got a better job.
It is funny. I never aggreed with what Stuart said on CNN but I have agreed with what he says on FOX.
They are changing graphics, they are changing pace, they are changing producers, they are changing talking heads,.. they are changing everything but what will fix the problem,.... they need to change the content... They will have to fall several more rating points before they finally figure out what is wrong.
CNN and its parent company havn't a clue about the problems.... they are not likely to have a clue about the fix.
It is really pretty simple if youwant viewers just put on what the people want to watch not what you want to program.
The problem is management is never a typical viewer. Yet much of management picks programmers that program to please the boss.
I used to tell my programmers that if I ever tune in and personally like what you are programming, you are just one notch away from being fired.
I heard ya, but with ABCNNBCBS...you're talking to a wall
If there is a more boring news show on TV, I wish somebody would tell me what it is.
As for Varney, I saw him on Fox not long ago discussing Paul O'Neill. The only thing he didn't do was spit. It was fascinating to watch.
They don't even know that the rest of the country is really out here let alone think about trying to understand what we belive and live for. How on earth do they ever think they are going to appeal to us?
Half the country is conservative. Of the other half, 50% are elitists and the other 50% would never watch the news if their lives depended on it, it might mean they have to actually think about things. So CNN has cut it's market share down to 25% at the most. And they wonder why they are losing the ratings race.
You got me kid... Brown is like watching paint dry.
I was watching CNN a bit today and once again they has new graphics and bumbers... As if that were a factor.
If I were producing Arron Brown I would put laxatives in Brown's coffee and put on the Janitor in his place. It would have to improve ratings.
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