Jonathan Wald Named EP of ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’

By Chris Ariens 

TVNewser has learned Jonathan Wald, former SVP at CNBC, has been named executive producer of Piers Morgan’s new CNN show. The announcement was made by CNN EVP Ken Jautz in his morning editorial meeting, insiders tell us.

Morgan’s show which will be called “Piers Morgan Tonight” replaces “Larry King Live” in CNN primetime early next year.

Wald had been rumored as the top candidate for the job. He left CNBC in March 2009.

> Update: Confirmed. Press release after the jump…

Jonathan Wald Named Executive Producer of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight

Jonathan Wald, former executive producer of NBC’s Today and Nightly News, and former senior vice president of CNBC, has been named executive producer of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight debuting in January 2011, it was announced today by CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz. Wald’s appointment is effective immediately.

“Jonathan has spent more than 20 years as a top producer in broadcast and cable television news and has the unique ability to produce television that is smart and provocative,” said Jautz. “We are thrilled that he’ll be joining the CNN family.”

Most recently Wald has been an advisor to AOL on cross-platform programming initiatives. From 2006-2009, Wald served as senior vice president of CNBC, responsible for all business news programming. During a period of unprecedented financial and economic crisis, CNBC expanded business coverage into primetime and weekends, resulting in the highest ratings and revenue in the network’s history. Wald was also responsible for multimedia development and the use of business news on as well as marketing and promotion of that content on all platforms.

Said Wald, “CNN is an important news organization and a powerful worldwide brand. I am so excited to join this team. I can’t wait to get started and to collaborate with Piers on redefining the long-form interview program in primetime.”

Wald, a three-time Emmy Award winner, was the executive producer of Today where he led the program’s distinguished coverage during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the contested 2000 presidential election, and the first live morning show performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Prior to Today, he was the executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw where he was responsible for all aspects of the top-rated flagship broadcast.

“Jonathan is tough, funny, smart as hell, incredibly experienced, and wants to win,” said Morgan.

Wald began his career as a desk assistant at NBC News in 1983 while a freshman at Columbia University, then moved to WBZ-TV (Boston) where he produced every major broadcast including the 11 o’clock news. He returned to New York as a field producer for NBC’s Brian Williams in 1993. Wald received a B.A. from Columbia and since 2001, serves on the adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He is married and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.