As the relaunch of his cable network draws closer, former Vice President Al Gore has hired a veteran of Cable News Network and The Walt Disney Co. — as well as a former magazine publisher — for key posts on his management team.
Gore, chairman of the media company INdTV, last week named David Neuman president of programming and Anne Zehren president of sales and marketing for Newsworld International, the network he acquired in May from Vivendi Universal.
Next year, Gore will rebrand and relaunch NWI, aiming the channel at younger viewers.
“These are two leaders on the creative side of the business,” said Joel Hyatt, Gore’s partner and CEO of INdTV.
Most recently, Neuman was chief programming officer at CNN, where he spearheaded the hiring of Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien and Paula Zahn, as well as the development of such new programs as American Morning.
INdTV did an extensive hunt for a programming chief, according to Hyatt. “All paths ended up leading to David,” Hyatt said. “He fit in every way.”
Neuman started his TV career at NBC, where by age 26 he was vice president in charge of the Peacock Network’s primetime comedy shows. A year later, he was named vice president of comedy development.
After NBC, Neuman became an executive producer at 20th Century Fox, then served as president of programming at the classroom-distributed network Channel One.
From 1996 to 1998, Neuman served as president of Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television, where he supervised the production of Home Improvement and Ellen, among other shows.
Zehren is the founding publisher of Teen People, which became one of the fastest-growing magazines ever launched, with readership topping 10 million in only five years. She was recommended for her new job by one of INdTV’s financial backers, former AOL Time Warner Inc. executive Bob Pittman.
Zehren will be in charge of consumer marketing for INdTV, not affiliate sales. And her lack of cable-TV experience isn’t a hindrance, according to Hyatt.
“She’s such an extraordinary leader,” he said. “She is a brand builder. She understands our target demographic. … It does entail consumer marketing, all the aspects of building an audience and it does entail ad sales.”
Prior to Teen People, Zehren was associate publisher, marketing for Glamour, where she turned that department from a cost center to a profit center.
Hyatt last week declined to discuss INdTV’s programming plans or when it will relaunch next year.