CNN’s Johnson Signs Off

NEW YORK–After months of overhaul at CNN, it was announced on at the end of the day Thursday that Tom Johnson, chairman and CEO of CNN News Group will be stepping away from the day-to-day operations of the division.

According to a statement, Johnson will serve as an advisor to Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. on a multi-year basis.

Johnson explained in an internal memo sent to staffers that with his 60th birthday looming, he wanted to spend more time with his children and grandchildren and travel with his wife, Edwina. “It is time for a workaholic to escape the stress of work before stress gets me,” he wrote.

Johnson began his career as CNN the day before the Gulf War exploded, putting the network on the map with its unique brand of hard-hitting news coverage.

“Tom Johnson leaves a legacy of outstanding journalistic integrity and accomplishment that is unparalleled in the industry,” said Kellner. “His day-to-day presence will be missed by me personally and by the multitude of journalists and news gatherers within the CNN News Group worldwide.”

No replacement has been named but Kellner, who has expressed in interviews his new found love and respect for the network, will, in the interim, work a little more closely with the CNN staff. Phil Kent president, COO of CNN News Group and Eason Jordan, chief news executive and news gathering and president of CNN News Group, will report directly to Kellner.