CNBC Prime-Time Chief Jim Ackerman Leaving the Network

By A.J. Katz 

The leader of CNBC’s reality-focused prime time lineup is leaving the network.

Jim Ackerman, evp of prime time alternative programming at CNBC, is leaving after seven years, during which he transformed the network’s prime time programming slate: Unscripted reality shows, albeit with a business twist.

“Jim is leaving CNBC to pursue other opportunities at a yet to be determined date,” a CNBC spokesman told TVNewser. “We thank him for his amazing contributions over the last 7 years and wish him the best.”

The new CNBC prime time entertainment block launched in early 2013 and helped the network deliver notable growth in the daypart with shows like The Profit, Jay Leno‘s Garage, Billion Dollar Buyer and a reboot of Deal or No Deal.

Ackerman, a one-time Dateline NBC, Today show, and CBS morning show producer, joined CNBC in February 2012 after a run as a development executive at VH1.

Ackerman spent a decade at VH1, where he helped steward it from a primarily music-focused network into a reality TV powerhouse, launching the highly-rated Love & Hip Hop franchise, and overseeing including Best Week Ever and Celebrity Fit Club.

Prior to Ackerman’s arrival, CNBC’s prime time had basically consisted of traditional long-form business programming — corporate portraits, fraud and stories of business tycoons. Will the network leave reality TV and head back in that direction? Or will the network emulate rival FBN and go with live business news programming in the evening and prime time hours?

Time will tell.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report Ackerman’s departure.