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Sue Bunda Leaving CNN

After 24 years with CNN Worldwide, executive VP of content development and strategy Sue Bunda is leaving the company.

Bunda joined CNN in 1987 as a writer and producer. She would go on to oversee special events coverage for the network and eventually was named senior VP of news for CNN/U.S., overseeing the network’s domestic bureaus.

“The logical question is why. Here’s why: I have always believed life is full of chapters and this has been an amazing one, but the next chapter is calling me,” Bunda wrote in an email to staff this morning. “In my recent years here, I have championed “free-thinking” and I couldn’t help but apply that same spirit to my professional future. I have several ideas about where I hope that chapter leads me.”

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton said in an email to staff that he and his team will be looking at Bunda’s areas of responsibility, and will decide how it will be organized it in the near future.

Bunda and Walton’s emails are after the jump.

March 22, 2011

To: CNN Staff

From: Jim Walton

=======================================================

Our colleague Sue Bunda is announcing today that she has decided to leave CNN and her position as executive vice president of content development and strategy for CNN Worldwide. After 24 years and at least one lifetime of experiences and moments as part of our news organization, she wants to write a new chapter in her professional life. As someone who has known Sue for all of those years, I’m not surprised by this move. She has made a career of thinking about and then doing what challenges her, what feels right and what is next. Her instincts have served her well. But that doesn’t make this decision any more welcome to her colleagues and friends.

Sue’s involvement at and with CNN is too broad to cover comprehensively here. Asked for the highlights, I think she would say she has loved having a front-row seat for, and a hand in guiding our coverage of, the biggest news stories of our generation; that she is proud to have led the charge in creating two of our most important brands, CNN iReport and CNN Heroes; that she was energized by the format and results of her “Free-Thinking Fridays” forums; and that she is honored to have championed CNN, its journalism and its people around the world.

I’ll miss having Sue as a sounding board, problem-solver and example of how to do things well and right. But I’m looking forward to seeing what and where she innovates next. She will spend the coming weeks wrapping up and packing up, so you’ll have time to extend to her your own thanks and best wishes. We are looking at how we’ll manage her current areas of responsibility going forward and will share those plans as soon as possible.

We wish Sue only the best. She’s part of CNN and always will be.

March 22, 2011

To: CNN Staff

From: Sue Bunda

=======================================================

Today I’m announcing I am leaving CNN. I have often wondered what the right next line is for a note that starts this way.

The logical question is why. Here’s why: I have always believed life is full of chapters and this has been an amazing one, but the next chapter is calling me.

In my recent years here, I have championed “free-thinking” and I couldn’t help but apply that same spirit to my professional future. I have several ideas about where I hope that chapter leads me.

I have enjoyed every minute working with the greatest journalists in the world and joining together to cover history as it is unfolding.

I have had the privilege of working on an amazing executive team under Jim’s leadership.

Thank you to each of you for being the “CNN Heroes” in this chapter of my life.

I will be here working with my teams on the transition through March 31st.

After that, I will be one of your loyal viewers, but one who can call you directly with my feedback or maybe through iReport!

Best wishes always,

Sue

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