CNN Special Events Chief Kate Lunger Is Leaving After 30 Years at Network

By A.J. Katz 

A CNN Special Events institution is leaving the company this summer.

After 30 years at CNN, 25 in Special Events, and the last 14 as the head of the unit, Kate Lunger is leaving the network in June.

As the vp of CNN’s Special Events team, Lunger has been responsible for special event programming and breaking news television production for CNN Worldwide. She has led production planning as well as execution of CNN’s debates, town halls, major primaries and caucuses, party conventions, election night, world summits, deaths of notables, royal weddings coverage, and U.S. Presidential overseas trips.


CNN’s D.C. bureau chief Sam Feist informed staff of Lunger’s June departure earlier this month.

“From award-winning election night coverage, presidential debates, and town halls to royal weddings, the Heroes special, and more, Kate has had a remarkable run overseeing the most successful global live news events in CNN’s history,” Feist wrote in a staff memo. “We owe Kate a tremendous debt of gratitude for an extraordinary CNN career.”

Prior to joining CNN in 1993, Lunger worked as an operations producer for Reuters Financial Television in Japan.

Alexa Bennewitz will take over to lead the CNN Special Events team. Most recently as the Senior Director of Special Events, Bennewitz has managed the production and budgets for dozens of events, pool coverage, presidential trips, and more.

Bennewitz will continue the history of CNN Special Events being run by a woman since its launch in 1980.

“Please join me in thanking Kate for her innumerable contributions, and in congratulating Alexa on her expanded role,” Feist added.