CNN Shift: Who Are Ken Jautz and Scot Safon?

By Chris Ariens Comment

With Jon Klein‘s departure from CNN, two longtime Turner executives will be taking on new roles. Ken Jautz becomes EVP of CNN/U.S. and Scot Safon takes over for Jautz at HLN.

Ken Jautz  joined CNN in 1989 as bureau chief in Germany. Prior to that he had been an international correspondent for The Associated Press.  New York-based Jautz has been EVP of CNN’s business news operations and the CNNfn network, as well as CNN Money. Most recently he ran CNN’s sister channel, HLN but reported directly to CNN/Worldwide President Jim Walton.

In December 2008, Jautz oversaw the name change of the channel from Headline News to HLN. He brought  Glenn Beck (with Jautz, left in Oct. 2007) and Nancy Grace to primetime and turned the lineup into a strong competitor — in fact beating on some nights — the network he will now run. As EVP of CNN/Worldwide Jautz outranked Jon Klein in the CNN hierarchy. Now he adds Klein’s old job as head of CNN’s domestic news channel to his long CNN resume.

Scot Safon is a more interesting hire. Safon a marketing guy,  joined CNN Worldwide in 2002 from Turner’s TNT. He was promoted to EVP/Chief Marketing Officer in 2007. Atlanta-based Safon is behind most of the branding you see on CNN, including CNN=Politics and the marketing campaigns for Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, Joy Behar, Larry King Live, The Situation Room and Fareed Zakaria GPS. .

In a conference call with reporters this morning after the news was announced, CNN/Worldwide president Jim Walton said of Safon, “While it may not seem on the surface to be a logical progression, what I can tell you is this: Scot has been a direct report of mine for many years, he has been a senior part of my team and he has been involved in and contributed to all of the big decisions that have been made here over the past few years. That includes the journalism.”