With its ratings still trailing Fox News Channel, Cable News Network replaced
its general manager, Teya Ryan, with a veteran broadcast-news veteran from
In a major shakeup, CNN has hired Princell Hair, most recently vice president
of news for the Viacom Television Stations Group, to take over for Ryan, who has
resigned "to pursue opportunities outside of the CNN organization," according to
a press release the 24-hour news channel released Monday.
Princell, a name generally not known in cable, oversaw news coverage across
media giant Viacom’s 39 TV stations. That unit includes 17 owned-and-operated
stations, four CBS satellite stations, 18 UPN-affiliated stations and one
Prior to going to Viacom corporate, Hair was news director at KCBS-TV in Los
Angeles and, prior to that, at WBAL-TV in Baltimore.
"Princell brings to his new role demonstrated expertise as a newsroom
executive and gifted leader," CNN News Group president Jim Walton said in a
prepared statement. "He learned storytelling and the mechanics of television
news on the job in some of the country’s top markets."
Hair will report to Walton and be based in Atlanta.
Ryan’s departure is just the latest in a series of executive exits from CNN,
which, so far, has proved incapable of beating Fox News in the ratings wars.
In January, CNN News Group chairman Walter Isaacson left the company and was
replaced by Walton.
Ryan, as CNN executive vice president and general manager, has had a tough
tenure at the news channel.
On her watch, Connie Chung was given a primetime show on CNN -- a program
that was canceled once Walton was in charge, with Chung hastily exiting.
Last week, CNN debuted two new evening shows, Anderson Cooper 360 and
Paula Zahn Now,which didn’t produce any spectacular
In a memo to CNN staff, Walton said he and Ryan in the past months "have had
extensive, highly productive philosophical and practical discussions about the
structure of CNN/U.S."
He cited Ryan’s resignation note, quoting her as writing, "I am proud of what
I have achieved at the company … There is a strong team in place to head up
CNN/U.S., and I think the network is on a positive track."
In other changes that were part of Monday’s shakeup, Walton said in a second
staff memo that Eason Jordan, CNN’s president of newsgathering and chief news
executive, will assume a new role as executive VP and chief news executive.
Jordan had been overseeing CNN’s global newsgathering operations, but now,
there will be a change. From now on, Walton said in his memo, "Newsgathering shifts
from operating as a stand-alone unit between CNN Domestic and CNN International
to a function of each unit."
According to Walton, "the newsgathering infrastructure -- the people and
resources operating within that framework -- is being integrated into the
Domestic and International units, close to programming decision-making and the
journalism that ultimately airs."
This realignment "adds significantly to the management portfolio of the
executives heading CNN/U.S. [Hair] and CNN International." As a result, Chris
Cramer, executive VP and managing director of CNN International, is adding
international bureaus and newsgathering to his oversight.
In turn, Jordan’s new role will be managing CNN’s editorial relationships
with international affiliates, business partners and governments.
He will also be CNN’s key editorial liaison with major newspapers; share
responsibility for editorial decisions on standards and practices; provide
insight on overseas deployment; and take on special projects.