Surprise: Executive With No Hard News Background Reportedly on Short List to Run CNN LA Times

A TV executive with no background in hard news is reportedly on the short list to run CNN.

The candidate in question is former Dick Clark Productions Chief Mark Shapiro, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Shapiro was a top programming executive at ESPN before running Dick Clark Prods., and he would be an unusual choice for CNN because he doesn't have a background in hard news, the story notes.

Shapiro has experience in production from his stint at ESPN, which has its own news division. He is considered an innovative executive, as well as at times being confrontational with talent and executives, the story adds.

He joins former NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker on the short list of CNN candidates. The story adds that the two are friendly with each other.

Currently running CNN is CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton, who has already said that he is resigning at the end of the year.