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CNN Programming Moves Questioned by Washington Bureau Staff

blitzersanchez_1-26.jpgPolitico’s Michael Calderone writes about “anxiety” being exhibited at CNN and reports that at a recent annual meeting with CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton in Washington, bureau staffers expressed their discontent with some of the programming changes being made, namely Rick Sanchez gaining an hour for “Rick’s List” and Wolf Blitzer‘s “Situation Room” being reduced to two:

Sanchez, who incorporates Twitter heavily into the show, is viewed by some in Washington as merging entertainment more with the news content than is customary at the network, and at one point Howie Lutt, senior director for “The Situation Room,” stood up and asked the roughly 200 staffers assembled in the bureau to raise their hands if they respect him or Blitzer as a journalist, according to network sources.

Almost everyone assembled raised their hand for Blitzer; only a few showed similar support for Sanchez.

Calderone also reports that CNN/US president Jon Klein was unnoticed in the back of the room as staffers complained about resources for “Situation Room” until he “made the point that [Glenn] Beck pulls much higher ratings without the personnel and resources needed for the CNN show, which relies upon multiple cameras, live feeds and more complicated news packages.” Klein also returned the following week to have another meeting with the “Sit Room” staff.

John King was apparently also on hand and “said he found it ‘refreshing’ to see his colleagues not being ‘afraid to ask tough questions of the management.’”

“There’s a lot of change here right now,” King told Politico.

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