CNN CEO Mark Thompson Unveils His Executive Leadership Team

By Mark Mwachiro 

On Wednesday, Alex MacCallum was named CNN’s new EVP of digital products and services. MacCallum rejoining CNN was part of CEO Mark Thompson’s broad announcement to CNN staff, finally outlining his leadership team.

Thompson was named Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide in August 2023 and has kept a low relatively low profile during that time.

His success in transforming two of the world’s most respected news organizations — BBC and The New York Times — for the digital age is why David Zaslav brought him to CNN. “His strategic vision, track record in transformational leadership, and sheer passion for news make him a formidable force for CNN and journalism at this pivotal time,” Zaslav said at that time.

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In the memo to CNN staffers, Thompson noted that the organization has been slow to respond to how its audience consumes the news. “CNN has been slow to respond to the challenge,” he said. “Perhaps that’s not surprising: the CNN of today is no longer that buccaneering outsider but a tenured incumbent. You still see our strength when big stories break. We still sport brilliant on-air, digital, and producing talent and have one of the world’s most visited news websites. But, despite all these strengths, there’s currently too little innovation and risk-taking. Like so many other news players with a broadcast heritage, CNN’s linear services and even its website can sometimes have an old-fashioned and unadventurous feel as if the world has changed and they haven’t.”

To fix this, Thompson announced a new executive leadership team and reorganized its newsgathering structure, embracing a multimedia strategy. “A true multimedia strategy requires a multimedia newsroom. We will combine leadership of international, domestic, and digital news operations with immediate effect,” he said.

Thompson’s leadership team is outlined below.

Virginia Moseley becomes CNN’s executive editor. She previously was the executive vice president of editorial for CNN U.S.

Mike McCarthy becomes CNN’s managing editor. He was previously the executive vice president and general manager of CNN International. The television production side of CNN International will remain under McCarthy for now as the network works through future structure and operations. McCarthy and the global team will now report to Moseley.

Amy Entelis becomes CNN’s evp talent, CNN Originals, and creative development. She was previously the evp for talent and content development. She will now have even greater authority to lead talent decisions for CNN and continue with her robust award-winning portfolio of CNN Originals work. Ramon Escobar, svp talent recruitment & development, will continue working with Entelis. Lisa Reeves will continue as svp, of talent negotiations, working closely with Entelis and the rest of the talent team.

David Leavy remains CNN’s chief operating officer. He will play a key role in coordinating and helping drive the process of change and development at CNN. Reporting to Leavy will be Ken Jautz, who will become evp of operations. He was previously executive vice president, CNN.

Emily Kuhn is being promoted to svp of communications and will lead the global communications team. She was previously vp of communications responsible for CNN U.S. programming, CNN Max, and CNN Digital Worldwide.

Sam Feist remains Washington Bureau chief and senior vice president.

Karen Bronzo will continue to lead marketing for CNN as well as the Warner Bros. Discovery U,S. Networks. Nick Cavaliere will lead CNN research and data analytics team, taking over from Robin Garfield, and Phil Nelson will continue to lead CNN International Commercial, working closely with Leavy and our domestic sales partners.

Additionally, Stacey Wolf is taking on a new role as group svp, head of business partnerships and negotiations, reporting to Leavy.

In the next few weeks, CNN is searching for someone to fill the role of svp, business development, and commercial strategy. According to Thompson, “both these roles will be focused on growth to be achieved by striking new and better deals, acquiring or helping to create new businesses, and unlocking and scaling new sources of revenue.”

Adam Cohn remains executive vice president and chief financial officer for CNN Worldwide.

Johnita P. Due remains the executive vice president of integrity and inclusion. She also manages standards and practices for CNN.

Eric Sherling remains the evp of U.S. programming.

David Vigilante remains evp and general counsel for CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.

Alaka Williams remains svp of people and culture.

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