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Posts Tagged ‘Scot Safon’

Former HLN Chief Scot Safon Joins The Weather Channel

safon.scottFormer HLN chief Scot Safon has joined The Weather Channel as its executive VP and chief marketing officer, the company says.

Safon announced his departure from his corporate home of 22 years last month, as CNN president Jeff Zucker shook up his executive leadership team.

“I’ve decided it is time to leave my Turner home to explore what I want to do next,” Safon wrote to HLN staff at the time. “This week marks my 22nd anniversary at the company, and I look back at an experience that feels both very rewarding… and very complete.”

What he wants to do next looks similar to where he got his start: in marketing. Safon was the senior VP of marketing for TNT, before joining sister network CNN in 2002 as its senior VP of marketing. In 2007 he was named executive VP and chief marketing officer of CNN Worldwide. He became the GM of HLN in 2010.

As it happens, the two largest media companies in the Atlanta are are Turner Broadcasting (which owns CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and other channels) and Weather Company (parent company of The Weather Channel). In other words, if you are a media executives in the city, your employment options are somewhat more limited than if you were in New York or Los Angeles.

Update: the official announcement is below.
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HLN Finds Itself At Another Crossroads, As It Slates Primetime Health/Wellness Block

Later this year, HLN will start airing a two-hour health and wellness block on Sunday nights from 7-9 PM. The block will be based on the “Upwave” brand developed by parent company Turner Broadcasting, according to Variety. The formats and hosts are still to be determined, but the Upwave videos currently have a heavy focus on fitness and healthy eating (you can watch a sizzle reel here).

For HLN, it is another fork in the road as the channel has struggled to break apart from its bigger sibling and develop its own identity.

HLN is currently best known for its courtroom programming like “Nancy Grace,” but also features entertainment news programming like “Showbiz Tonight.” During the day (and when there isn’t a big trial), HLN’s programs seem geared to stay-at home moms, with a heavy emphasis on family-centric news programming. During the weekend it features long-form crime and mystery programming.

Now there may be cooking shows and fitness programs in primetime.

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Scot Safon: Experience At CNN and HLN Has Been ‘Very rewarding…and very complete’

This morning CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker revealed that HLN chief Scot Safon would be departing the company at the end of August, after 22 years at Turner Broadcasting. Shortly thereafter Safon sent a memo to staff explaining the decision to move on.

“This week marks my 22nd anniversary at the company, and I look back at an experience that feels both very rewarding…and very complete,” Safon wrote in the memo, which was obtained by TVNewser. “I will miss working daily with all of you.  The energy that pulses through CNN Worldwide is unique, and the rhythms of a CNN or HLN day are unlike what you will find anywhere else.   Most of all, the people you get to work with each day are, quite simply, wonderful. ”

He also talked about his time as the chief marketing officer at CNN, and as GM of HLN. Read the memo after the jump.
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Scot Safon Out At HLN, Andrew Morse Joins CNN In Leadership Rejiggering

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is reorganizing his executive team in a big way.

For starters, after 22 years at the company HLN chief Scot Safon will be departing at the end of August. Current CNN/U.S. chief and former HLN executive VP Ken Jautz will manage HLN in the interim.

“Recently, Scot approached me with the desire to take a well-deserved break, and to move on to the next phase of his career,” Zucker wrote in a memo to staff this morning. “I have enjoyed working with Scot, and I am truly sorry to see him go. But I do understand the desire to do something new.”

The CNN Worldwide chief also confirmed the addition of Bloomberg TV’s Andrew Morse, who will become senior VP of domestic newsgathering and digital editorial, reporting to Zucker. Meredith Artley, Sam Feist and Terence Burke will all now report to Morse.

Michael Bass will oversee New York and Atlanta programming, while talent and acquisitions chief Amy Entelis will now report directly to Zucker. Ken Jautz will oversee operations and finance at CNN/U.S. while managing HLN in Safon’s absence.

Tony Maddox will be giving up some of his domestic newsgathering responsibilities to focus exclusively on international coverage.

Zucker’s full memo, below.
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With Zimmerman Trial, CNN And HLN Now Competing At 10 PM

For the last few years, CNN and HLN have been separate fiefdoms under the Time Warner umbrella. HLN has focused on coverage of court cases, mixed in with lighter entertainment fare (both genres which appeal heavily to female viewers) while CNN continues to base its brand on its breaking news prowess.

Now, however, there is some serious overlap between the channels. At 10 PM, CNN is programming a special hour of “AC360″ looking at the day’s developments in the George Zimmerman murder trial. HLN has been gearing up for the trial for months, and has made it the single biggest story every day. Both channels are now managed by Jeff Zucker, who took over as the president of CNN Worldwide early this year.

HLN chief Scot Safon talks to the AP’s David Bauder about competing with his sister network:

“If someone else is doing it, I would rather have them doing it,” Safon said. “I work for CNN.”

Although he didn’t initiate any corporate battle over CNN’s “Self Defense or Murder?” show, “I looked at it very carefully,” Safon said…

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Robin Meade’s ‘Count on Me’ Set for Release

Remember that album Robin Meade was just starting to work on when we talked with her last year?

Well, “Count on Me” drops June 11 and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and HLN executive in charge Scot Safon are throwing her a release party in New York next month. This is the second album for Meade, who anchors HLN’s “Morning Express.” Her first, 2011′s “Brand New Day” features a mix of original music and covers, including Don Henley‘s ode to TV news “Dirty Laundry.”

Meade sang a few bars for us during a Media Beat interview last April. Watch:

HLN Makes ‘HLN After Dark’ A Nightly Show, As Scot Safon Praises Team

HLN is coming off of a number of record-breaking months in terms of viewership, bolstered by coverage of the Jodi Arias trial, which culminated with last week’s guilty verdict. In a memo to staff this afternoon obtained by TVNewser, HLN executive VP Scot Safon  congratulated the team on their work, and previewed what HLN has coming down the pipeline.

Among the changes: “HLN After Dark” will become a full-time member of HLN’s nightly lineup, where it will focus “on stories (trials and otherwise) in the ‘court of public opinion,’” according to Safon’s note.  The channel is also gearing up for its next big trial, that of George Zimmerman, which begins June 10th, and the Daytime Emmy Awards on June 16th. There are also Nancy Grace, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Jane Velez-Mitchell specials in the works.

Read Safon’s full note to HLN staff, below.
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HLN Exec: Jodi Arias Trial ‘Richer and deeper than we would have ever imagined’

As TVNewser has been covering over the last few weeks, the Jodi Arias trial has proved to be a boon for HLN. CNN’s sister network has seen ratings explode during the week, not only topping its older sibling, but MSNBC and Fox News in some dayparts and demos as well. HLN slated a nightly show at 10 PM recapping the day’s events, which has helped fill the gap of TruTV’s In Session, which was cut in the middle of the trial to make way for other programming.

The New York TimesBrian Stelter talks to HLN executive VP Scot Safon about what the trail means to the channel.

“We were just responding to the behaviors we were seeing on social media, out in the world, in people’s homes: as a trial unfolds, the people who watch start to become jurors, deliberating with each other all over the place,” Mr. Safon said.

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‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ Host Ty Pennington To Host Primetime Show On HLN

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” host Ty Pennington has been tapped to host a monthly program on HLN.

The new weekend primetime show, “American Journey,” will follow “individuals and communities who have found inventive and surprising ways to address today’s challenges by applying the lessons of American pioneers.”

HLN has ordered 10 episodes of the series, with the first episode debuting Saturday, January 12th at 8 PM.

“I’ve covered a lot of ground across America as host of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ and seen first-hand the resilience of the American spirit regardless of the heavy burdens and obstacles they’ve faced,” said Pennington in a statement. “I’m happy to be part of American Journey and work with HLN to uncover inspirational stories that will surely have a positive impact on viewers.”

More information, below.
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HLN Acquires ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ Repeats

In a first of its kind deal, HLN is acquiring the cable television rights to more than 35 episodes of the ABC News program “What Would You Do?”

HLN general manager & executive vice president Scot Safon says the network “is exploring new programming dimensions that connect us with a broader audience while continuing to deliver what HLN fans want: must-see, must-share news that relates to how we live today.

“What Would You Do?,” hosted by ABC’s John Quiñones, uses undercover cameras to capture controversial situations, then invites an unsuspecting public — and by extension TV viewers — to question how they might react.

HLN will air “What Would You Do?” with back-to-back episodes on Thursday and Sunday nights from 9-11 pmET beginning Oct. 21.

Increasingly, network news divisions are selling their productions to cable networks. CBS’s “60 Minutes” is repackaged on CNBC, NBC’s “Dateline” can be seen on Discovery’s ID, and ABC’s “20/20″ airs on WEtv.

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