CNN/U.S. Chief Ken Jautz: Hacking Scandal Won’t Affect Piers Morgan’s CNN Show

By Alex Weprin 

CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz tells Ad Week‘s D.M. Levine that he is standing by his 9 PM host, Piers Morgan. Morgan’s name has been brought up in relation to the hacking scandal in the U.K., so far, however, no one has been able to definitively connect Morgan to the scandal.

Jautz says Morgan has been clear and forthcoming about his past with CNN executives, and in statements he has released since the scandal engulfed the media landscape in recent weeks.

Jautz also addresses Morgan’s consistent defense of the Murdoch family:

“These are his opinions based on his experiences with them. And he has his own opinions,” said Jautz, who added that he was comfortable with some on-air talent at CNN expressing opinion “so long as its based on their own experience, on their reporting, on fact and not on ideology.”

The Jautz interview comes the same day a bizarre story was posted by the U.K.’s Daily Star. The Star writes that CNN has shelved some sort of heretofore unknown companion program to Morgan’s 9 PM show. Morgan responded to the story on Twitter, writing:

“Congratulations to the Daily Star on their completely invented front page story about me. Pure 100% celestial fabrication. Made me chuckle. On a positive note, the Daily Star’s accompanying photo WAS of me, and looked rather fetching. So no harm done.”