The next phase of the HLN makeover begins today.
Network president Albie Hecht is in Atlanta for a 2-day network meeting with all production staff, TVNewser has learned. We hear the plan includes making HLN the “social media network,” bringing the immediacy of social media and translating it to TV.
Insiders tell us Hecht gave the pitch to HLN employees last night, while today off-site brainstorming sessions are being held with production teams. Most of today’s shows are on tape or replaced by weekend programming. HLN staffers from New York, Los Angles and Atlanta are attending the meeting at an Atlanta hotel.
Over the weekend, HLN debuted three new health and wellness shows, a programming block that is part of the Turner brand “Upwave.” The network has already had a round of layoffs and programming changes, which TVNewser wrote about in early November. In other staff changes, the EP of Nancy Grace‘s show, Dean Sicoli left the network last week. Senior producer Liz Yuskaitis is interim acting EP. Sicoli’s departure follows that of Katherine Green, who was SVP and managing editor of HLN.
In an interview with Capital New York Monday, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker hinted what the new HLN won’t be: Court TV. “It’s not as strong a business proposition, and it’s not really what advertisers are looking for,” said Zucker, noting the huge ratings draws that trials can bring. Zucker adds, “If we wanted to be in the court business, Time Warner would have kept Court TV.”