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CNN shakes up executive ranks amid continued prime-time woes

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Time Warner Inc.'s CNN, is shaking up its executive ranks in the wake of the network’s continued struggles to turnaround its prime-time lineup.

Exiting after six years in the job is Jon Klein, president of CNN U.S. He will be succeeded by Ken Jautz, who is executive vice president of CNN’s sister channel HLN (formerly Headline News). Although Jautz has been given oversight over CNN, he will not be given Klein’s title of president and will remain an executive vice president. Succeeding Jautz at HLN will be Scot Safon, who is CNN’s chief marketing officer.

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In a company announcement, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said he would also be naming a managing editor of CNN Worldwide to oversee all of CNN’s news operations.

While speculation has been rampant that Klein’s days were numbered at CNN, the timing is unusual in that it comes after the cable channel has already unveiled much of its new prime-time lineup, which will launch in the coming months. Klein most recently was involved in the exit of longtime CNN personality Larry King, who will be replaced by Piers Morgan, a British TV personality who also hosts a talent show on NBC.

CNN, which was created by media mogul Ted Turner as basically a television wire service, has struggled to compete against the more personality-driven programming on Fox News, which has been the ratings leader for the last several years. Although CNN is still a cash cow for parent Time Warner, it has not been able to develop breakout personalities to host the evening chat and debate shows that have replaced straight news coverage.

-- Joe Flint


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