Cable News Network Moneyline News Hour anchor Stuart Varney resigned
from the network Wednesday, a source said.
Varney's resignation came on the same day as a New York Daily News
report that said he was angered by AOL Time Warner Inc. vice chairman Ted
Turner's use of the term 'Jesus Freaks' last week to describe Catholic Turner
Broadcasting System Inc. workers observing Ash Wednesday.
CNN plans to announce Wednesday afternoon that Moneyline co-host
Willow Bay will be the sole host of the show. But one source said the network
plans other significant changes for Moneyline, which could include
bringing in new anchors, possibly from another network.
Varney's resignation coincides with the biggest financial-news week so far
this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had plummeted about 360 points by 2
p.m. Wednesday, falling below the 10,000 benchmark reached last year.
While one source confirmed that Varney was upset by Turner's remark, the
source also noted that Varney knew CNN was planning changes at the show that
could have affected his job. 'He may have seen the writing on the wall,' the
The shakeup at Moneyline comes just one month after CNN cut 400
employees and eliminated most of its business-news programming.
In addition to CNN losing its primetime-ratings crown to Fox News Channel in
recent months, Moneyline hasn't fared well against head-to-head
competitor Business Center on CNBC.
Business Center beat Moneyline by 24 percent in delivery during the
February ratings period, pulling an average 301,000 households compared with
243,000 for Moneyline.