Changes at American Morning

By SteveK 

TVNewser had been hearing for a few weeks that The Situation Room senior producer Janelle Rodriguez was the leading candidate for the vacant American Morning EP position. Today, CNN announced Rodriguez has been named to the job.

Rodriguez started with CNN as a producer for Headline News, and spent time as a senior producer for Anderson Cooper 360, before joining The Situation Room.

Ed Litvak had been the morning news show’s EP since August 2006, when he left in February.

Also, co-anchor Kiran Chetry announced this morning that she would be leaving the show for maternity leave. Insiders tell TVNewser that Kyra Phillips (fresh off an assignment in Iraq and moderating a panel in Vegas) will make the move to New York and take over in her absence.

Click continued to see the Rodriguez release…

Award-winning producer Janelle Rodriguez has joined CNN’s American Morning as executive producer of the network’s flagship morning program, it was announced today by Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. Based in New York, Rodriguez will supervise production of the program and oversee its mission as the hard-news alternative in the morning.

“Janelle has distinguished herself in everything she’s worked on at CNN,” Klein said. “I am pleased that we could cull from the breadth of talent within our network to find a producer who has the editorial vision and energy to take American Morning to the next level.”

Most recently, Rodriguez has been a senior producer on The Situation Room where she was also instrumental in the program’s launch. Over the past eight years, she has covered several major stories including the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina and the last two presidential elections.

Prior to The Situation Room, Rodriguez spent two years as senior producer on Anderson Cooper 360 and has also served as executive producer for numerous specials including the award-winning Jack Cafferty: Broken Government and a presidential faith forum hosted by Soledad O’Brien.

She began as a producer at Headlines News in Atlanta before moving to CNN/U.S. where she worked on various weekend shows and Wolf Blitzer Reports. Before joining CNN, she lived and worked in San Francisco as an independent filmmaker and has more than 15 years experience in film, video and television.

Rodriguez was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its Katrina reporting and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia and was a producer for CNN’s political unit when it won an Emmy for the network’s Election Night 2006 coverage. Her other awards include New York Festivals medals for Jack Cafferty: Broken Government and a report from the South Korea side of the Demilitarized Zone.

Rodriguez earned her master’s in fine arts in film production from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley.