Albie Hecht, who was named executive vice president and general manager of HLN two years ago, will step down from the network, CNN worldwide boss Jeff Zucker announced today. “He has done a terrific job running HLN,” Zucker said of Hecht in a memo to staff. “And it hasn’t been easy. His vision, creativity, persistence and commitment have been unwavering and he has been instrumental to HLN’s progress.”
Under Hecht, HLN underwent massive programming changes and was rebranded as “the first social TV network.” The HLN that emerged was criticized by some as lacking focus, with much of its lineup dominated by reruns of Forensic Files–hardly cutting edge social television.
Zucker said in 2016, HLN would focus on “driving..programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years.”
In the interim, HLN will be led by Ken Jautz, who previously led the network before taking his current role as executive vice president of CNN/US.
November 24, 2015
I want to share some news about HLN.
We continue to see great progress – and many of you have heard me talk about it recently. HLN is the second-fastest growing network in all of cable, and this year had its highest share of the cable news market in its history. Morning Express has surged to the number two spot in cable morning news. The Daily Share, the social lifestyle video network that launched less than a year ago, is number one in engagement among cable news and its competitive set. And the prime time lineup features some of the biggest personalities in cable, and they are integral to HLN’s success story.
As we look towards 2016, I now believe that by driving HLN’s programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years, we can take that success to even greater heights.
In light of that, Albie Hecht has decided it makes sense for him to move on. With the support of an incredible team at the network, he has done a terrific job running HLN. And it hasn’t been easy. His vision, creativity, persistence and commitment have been unwavering and he has been instrumental to HLN’s progress.
HLN is in good hands. Ken Jautz, who knows HLN as well as almost anyone at CNN, will step in on an interim basis to make sure we don’t miss a beat. And there is an exceptionally talented group of people who remain at the helm and throughout the organization that I know will continue to keep HLN strong.
I want to thank Albie for being a terrific partner to me, and the team at HLN. What we have accomplished would not have been possible without him and he will be missed.