It’s too early to say whether new boss Jeff Zucker’s CNN overhaul will be successful. One thing that’s already clear: the new CNN will look nothing like the old one. Mark Whitaker, CNN executive vice president and managing editor, has announced his departure.
He was the first managing editor for the news channel and for now, he’ll be the last. CNN plans to eliminate the position. Whitaker sent a memo to CNN staff that Zucker is a new leader with “forceful ideas” and he thought it was time to step aside. That exchange is fueling rumors that Whitaker isn’t comfortable with the news network’s new direction.
Political power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin won’t be renewing their contracts either. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Carville said CNN will use its in house pundits in Washington and New York, as opposed to locations such as New Orleans where Carville and Matalin live. Carville said his immediate future will contain speeches and consulting gigs.
RedState’s Erick Erickson, a go-to conservative contributor for the channel, has confirmed he’s moving on to Fox News. He began his CNN career on the now cancelled John King, USA.
Already aboard at CNN are Rachel Nichols and Anthony Bourdain. ABC’s Chris Cuomo will join the news network to take over the 7-9 a.m. slot along with Erin Burnett. That probably signals the end of her nighttime show, Erin Burnett Out Front. It also brings up the question of what will happen to current Starting Point host Soledad O’ Brien. Even though her morning show disappointed in the ratings, CNN released a statement assuring viewers she’s still very important to the network. It apparently plans to keep her, even if Zucker isn’t completely sure what he wants her to do yet.
The “This is CNN” voice over by James Earl Jones is back. It may be the only familiar thing around when Zucker’s revamp is complete.