In looking for a new chief to revive the fading fortunes of CNN, Time Warner executives have reached out to top media executives including Sony Chairman Howard Stringer, reports the New York Post.
Current CNN chief Jim Walton is slated to leave the network, with his contract expiring at the end of the year. Turner Broadcasting chief Phil Kent has been secretly meeting with candidates who might replace Walton, the piece adds. Kent “is under pressure to come up with a leader who can breathe new life into CNN, which critics have attacked as deadly dull,” the story notes.
The office for Stringer, who stepped down as Sony’s chief executive earlier this year but has remained as chairman, declined to comment.
Another executive on the list is former NBCUniversal President and CEO Jeff Zucker, while Time Warner is also likely to consider broadcast news chiefs including former ABC News President David Westin and Neal Shapiro, who headed NBC News, the piece adds.
A CNN insider cited in the story said: “We should know something in a month, perhaps before the elections. Unlike CNN International, we just don’t have someone with a mission. We need our Roger Ailes.”
The Ailes reference is a nod to cable news rival Fox News, which has been building a huge ratings lead over CNN under the leadership of Ailes.