Cable News Network chairman and CEO Tom Johnson announced his retirement
Thursday, telling staffers in a memo that he wanted to spend more time with his
family in California.
CNN, which didn't name a successor, will be run by CNN News Group chief news
executive Eason Jordan and CNN president and chief operating officer Phil Kent,
a spokeswoman said.
Jordan will continue to report to Kent, the former Turner Broadcasting System
International president named to his new position in September following the
resignation of former CNN president Rick Kaplan.
Johnson joined CNN in 1990, not long before the network's coverage of its
signature event, the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In addition to driving CNN's growth,
he oversaw the network when competition from Fox News Channel and MSNBC emerged
in 1996, and he watched CNN's once-dominant lead in the all-news war slip in
'The successes of CNN have been your successes. For more than 20 years, you
have built the most respected brand in television news,' Jordan wrote in a memo
to CNN staff. 'CNN is the best because of your efforts, your sacrifices, your
blood, sweat and tears. You are a splendid group of dedicated
professionals. You always strive to be the very best at what you do without
arrogance, without bias, without malice. You never stop trying to do better.
Nobody can ask for more.'