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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Grant’

Susan Grant Departing CNN

SusanGrantSusan Grant, a 27-year Turner executive, is leaving CNN, TVNewser has learned.

Grant’s departure comes as CNN cuts its workforce by 300 employees, a process which began with buyout offers and continued yesterday with layoffs.

As executive vice president of CNN News Services, Grant is the highest profile CNN employee to be departing the network this week. During her time at CNN, Atlanta-based Grant has worked in sales and marketing, and as president of Turner Program Services. Years ago was CNN’s first PR person.

“I will happily always be a member of this wonderful CNN team, and I will enjoy sharing in your continued successes,” Grant writes in a note to staff (after the jump).

“It is undeniable that few people in the history of CNN have contributed more than Susan Grant,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker tells TVNewser. “Throughout her time here, she has touched almost every part of the company. And each one has been the better for it. She has been a valued member of my Executive team, and her unwavering commitment to CNN is what has made her so special. I wish her nothing but the best.”

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Matt Dornic Moves to CNN Digital PR

One of our fishes is on the move.

Matt Dornic, a FishbowlDC contributor, and before that co-editor since February 2009, is joining the CNN public relations group working with the digital teams:, CNN Mobile and Apps. Dornic is also leaving his day job at public affairs firm Quinn Gillespie.

Dornic will work out of CNN’s New York offices, and split time in Atlanta working with the CNN digital leads KC Estenson and Susan Grant. He’ll be finishing up at Quinn Gillespie and FishbowlDC this month and will join CNN on December 5. Dornic replaces Jennifer Martin who joined Apple public relations in June.

Betsy will be posting a FBDC contributor job later today on the blog.

Good luck Matt!

Soledad O’Brien and Husband Establish Foundation For Young Women

CNN’s Don Lemon and Soledad O’Brien and Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell at a reception for the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation

Last night, CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien was front and center at a private reception to introduce the foundation she established with her husband, Brad Raymond. The event, at a private residence in Atlanta, is a precursor to the foundation’s major fundraiser next month in Bridgehampton, New York. Among the attendees, CNN executives Susan Grant, Janelle Rodriguez, and Janet Rolle, Ambassador Andrew Young, jazz artist Irvin Mayfield, and hip-hop artist Ludacris.

The stated goal of the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation is “to provide young women with a bridge between obstacles and opportunity, giving them the experiences, education and resources to overcome unexpected barriers to success.”

CNN Radio Gets New VP

cnn_radio_2-25.jpgCNN has announced that Victor Kong has been named Vice President of CNN Radio. Kong comes from a digital media background, having been VP and Managing Director of MySpace Latin America and an EVP at Hoodiny. He reports to EVP of CNN News Services Susan Grant.

Grant says Kong “will expand CNN Radio into the digital world and develop audio content for consumer demand.” Full press release after the jump.

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CNN Unveils New Site

cnndotcomsmall_10-23.jpgThe CNN talent and brass turned out for a TV-style debut of the new last night at the One Time Warner Center in NYC.

Some guests were greeted as they arrived by anchor Campbell Brown and “American Morning” anchor John Roberts, “Newsroom” anchor Kyra Phillips, and correspondent Deborah Feyerick all came to see the new design as did many of the top executives from CNN including President of CNN/US Jon Klein, EVP of CNN Worldwide Ken Jautz, EVP and COO of CNN Ad Sales Greg D’Alba, and EVP of CNN News Services Susan Grant.

Kenneth “KC” Estenson, SVP and GM of, walked the crowd through the new design that its 38 million visitors a month will get to experience starting Monday. The site was in development for over six months, and we hear that executives from the television end were regularly updated on the plans and progress.

Some CNN employees were surprised that details of the design didn’t leak during the development process. Not that there’s anything particularly controversial or revolutionary. In fact, one of the main goals of the redesign was to highlight the content that was already on the site and to improve the user experience with enhanced video and some customization, not to reinvent things.

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton told us that they were very careful not to tinker too much with the things that work well about the site. Estenson joked that Walton’s personal request was that it be “easy to use.” Walton told us that he wanted the visitor experience to be the top priority, adding, “Having the video right in the middle is a good thing for the user.”

There are some departures, like a CNN Entertainment section taking advantage of content from EW and People, an Opinion section, special partnerships with Oprah and TED, and a new service in beta called “NewsPulse.”

WebNewser has the details on the new design and more from Estenson.

Party For Joy. Walters, Whoopi and More Gather at the Oak Room


“The View” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Barabara Walters celebrate Behar’s new HLN show at the Plaza Hotel last night.

The famed Oak Room at New York’s Plaza Hotel was the setting for a party last night to celebrate the launch of HLN’s “The Joy Behar Show“, premiering Tuesday at 9pmET. The party, thrown by Behar’s “The View” co-host Barbara Walters, was packed with boldface names from news and entertainment and from all the networks.

In introducing Behar, Walters joked about her new show, “We originally thought it was going to go to Starr Jones. Then we were sure it was going to be Rosie [O'Donnell]. But finally, finally it is Joy.”

Behar thanked Walters and her “new boss” at HLN, CNN Worldwide EVP, Ken Jautz. “He found me. I was a poor little girl on a network show, trying to get a word in edgewise.”

Behar tells us she is a little nervous, but more excited about the new show. Her first guest, was Johnny Carson‘s last guest: Bette Midler.

Behar’s soon to be HLN colleagues were all there: Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell and A.J. Hammer. CNN anchors Larry King, Anderson Cooper, T.J. Holmes, and Ali Velshi. CNN correspondents Alina Cho, Jason Carroll, Suzanne Malveaux (up from D.C. for U.N. week), and Jeanne Moos.

From NBC Hoda Kotb and Dawn Fratangelo; soon to be Fox Business host John Stossel, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Joan Rivers the Rev. Al Sharpton, Vera Wang, Lorraine Bracco and Alan Alda.

Behar’s “The View” co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg were on hand. From CNN and CBS News Erica Hill, and her Saturday “Early Show” co-anchor Chris Wragge and his WCBS co-anchor, and former MSNBC anchor, Kristine Johnson

CNN executives Jim Walton, Ken Jautz, Susan Grant and Jon Klein.

We’d just arrived when guest Suze Orman began telling us her concern that there’s something fishy about losing her once-commanding lead our GMA co-anchor off. “It’s physically impossible to gain that much,” said Orman of the lead now held by Ashleigh Banfield.

• More pictures after the jump and Monday on TVNewser, an interview with Behar and Jautz…

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RTNDF Awards in D.C. Brings Out Journalists and More

gibson_3-13.jpgThe 19th annual First Amendment Awards Dinner, hosted by RTNDF, took place last night in Washington, D.C., and FishbowlDC’s Christine Delargy writes about the crowd — from former White House press secretary Dana Perino to CBS’ Lara Logan — and event.

Delargy highlights the “comedy act” brought by ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Sam Donaldson to present an award to Cokie Roberts.

In accepting the award last night, Roberts turned the lens on her hometown of New Orleans, saying news coverage there, and in many other locales, exacerbates racial tension: “[T]here’s a big difference between a couple of thoughtful people trying to get to some solution and a shoutfest where the shouter is seeking attention and the broadcaster is hoping for ratings.”

The other winners included CNN’s Susan Grant and Google’s Eric Schmidt. Click here to see pictures from the event.

More: Politico’s Patrick Gavin also attended the awards ceremony, and talked to emcee Chris Matthews and Donaldson about their favorite current White House correspondents and more. Video is after the jump…

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The Ticker: RTNDF, NBC, FNC…

> The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation will honor Susan Grant, EVP of CNN News Services and Cokie Roberts, commentator for ABC News and NPR, during its First Amendment Awards Dinner on March 12.

> The video tribute to NBC News’ former announcer Howard Reig has been put on YouTube. Reig passed away on November 12.

> Although News Corp. canceled its holiday party, that didn’t stop an “America’s Newsroom/Happening Now/Live Desk Christmas party” from taking place. From Janice Dean‘s blog:


Two Years In, CNN’s iReport Takes Off

iReport_8.20.jpgWith 175,000 videos and photos received so far and a 176% rise in submissions since the same time last year, CNN is gratified with the success of their citizen journalism effort, iReport. iReport, along with FNC’s UReport and MSNBC’s First Person, gives viewers a chance to be first-hand reporters, whether covering the news or posing questions to newsmakers. Lighter, cheaper cameras and an increasingly wired world make possible what was usually left to professional journalists. And the reports give the networks and their Websites content they might not otherwise have.

Now entering its third year, the watershed moment for iReport was in April 2007, when Virginia Tech grad student Jamal Albarghouti captured video of the campus shootings on his cell phone. “Sometimes the iReports we receive are first images of breaking news and often exhibit powerful points of view on issues or news events,” says EVP of news services Susan Grant, in a press release. “But every day our iReporters show an enthusiasm for and pride in the community they have created.”

CNN is so committed to the platform it paid $750,000 for the iReport domain name earlier this year. More than 85,000 people have registered as “iReporters.” According to Nielsen the site draws 2.3 million unique visitors a month.

Estenson Joins

KC Estenson will join as SVP and general manager beginning September 2, CNN announced today. He will be based in Atlanta and report to Susan Grant, EVP of CNN News Services.

Estenson currently is VP of digital media for Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group.

At Disney-ABC, Estenson worked primarily on the web side of Disney Channel, SOAPnet and ABC Family. He also “played a critical role” in the launch of the ABC News Now broadband service.

Click continued to see the full release…

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