Management shakeup at CNN


Jon Klein is leaving CNN after six years as head of CNN/US. Ken Jautz is moving over from HLN to run CNN/US, with Scot Safon succeeding him at HLN.

Jautz’s new title is Executive Vice President of CNN/US. (Klein’s title had been President.) He reports to Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide. 

“Ken has a rich history with CNN – as a reporter, bureau chief, programmer and news executive – and comes to this position with a proven track record. He is a respected, strategic and decisive leader and is the right person to lead CNN into the future,” said Walton.

Jautz has managed several networks for CNN and Turner Broadcasting in both Europe and the United States including HLN, CNNfn, and n-tv, a German national news channel. At HLN, Jautz revamped and re-branded the network, formally known as CNN Headline News, and created an entirely original line-up of evening talk shows that more than doubled the network’s prime time ratings. Under Jautz’s leadership, HLN launched such signature programs as “Nancy Grace,” “Joy Behar,” “ShowBiz Tonight,” “Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell” and “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”

Jautz joined CNN in 1989 as CNN’s bureau chief in Germany. Prior to that he had been an international correspondent for The Associated Press. 

Safon is now Executive Vice President, overseeing NLN. He joined CNN Worldwide in August 2002 as its Senior Vice President of Marketing and Promotion and most recently served as CNN Worldwide’s Chief Marketing Officer.

 “Scot is one of the most creative and passionate executives at Turner Broadcasting. As HLN continues to distinguish its brand in the marketplace, we are thrilled to have someone with his leadership skills, consumer insights and commitment to innovation running HLN,” said Walton.

CNN is also searching for someone to serve as Executive Vice President and Managing Editor of CNN Worldwide. That person will be charged with leading collaboration across all CNN platforms and “elevate CNN’s unique journalism and analysis.” Walton said the new Managing Editor, when selected, will have his mandate to shape and connect the company’s newsgathering across networks, shows and websites.

“Our colleague Jon Klein is leaving CNN.  Jon’s six years as head of CNN/US are reflected in the quality of our coverage of signal news events during his tenure: the tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 election cycle and the Haiti earthquake, as well as shows like ‘Anderson Cooper 360,’ ‘The Situation Room’ and ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS,’ all of which bear his imprint. Jon has made important contributions to the CNN story, and he leaves with our respect and friendship, and with my sincere thanks,” said the announcement from Walton.

RBR-TVBR observation: Not completely a surprise, give the primetime ratings struggle at CNN, but the timing is unusual. Klein just put together the new “Parker Spitzer” show and signed Piers Morgan as successor to Larry King, but he won’t be around for either launch.