CNN Hires New Deputy Director of Programming

By Chris Ariens 

CNN has hired a local news veteran as its new deputy director of programming, TVNewser has learned. John Antonio, who is currently managing editor at WABC-TV in New York is heading to CNN HQ in Atlanta later this month.

“John will be playing a key role in the restructuring of CNN and its programming,” writes Antonio’s current boss at WABC, Kenny Plotnik in an email to his staff, which was obtained by TVNewser.

Antonio began at WABC in 1993 as a Producer. He moved his way up to EP and has been ME for the last 4 years.  Antonio worked at WABC with the station’s former news director, Bart Feder who is CNN’s SVP of current programming, based in New York. WABC is the #1 news station in New York, just finishing up another strong November sweeps.

CNN’s director of programming Janelle Rodriguez announced the hire in a memo to staffers. That memo is after the jump.

Please join me in welcoming John Antonio as Deputy Director of Programming for CNN/U.S.  He will be based in Atlanta, working with our Atlanta-based show teams starting Jan 3rd.  He brings a wealth of experience in breaking news, editorial direction, show production, and new media integration.

John has served as Managing Editor at WABC-TV in New York City since February 2007, responsible for overseeing editorial direction and news coverage for the most-watched news station in the country.  Prior to that, he was the Executive Producer for the 5pm and 6pm newscasts.  During his time there, he covered several major stories including the Blackout of 2003, the Miracle on the Hudson landing of US Airways Flight 1549, and the Times Square Bombing Plot earlier this year.  Antonio has also field managed coverage of the 2008 RNC, the 2004 DNC and Pope John Paul II’s visit to Israel and Jordan.  He was the Executive Producer of Special Projects at WFXT-TV in Boston, and spent the first part of his career as a newscast producer in Gainesville, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Providence, RI; and New York City.  Outside of television news, John helped launch a start-up internet company in 2000 that specialized in video streaming and building out websites for media companies.

John graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism.