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Wil Surratt returns to CNN; reunited with Erin Burnett

As TVNewser reported earlier this month, and is now official, Wil Surratt is returning to CNN and will oversee the launch and production of Erin Burnett‘s new weekday show.

Surratt worked at CNN from 2002-2006 EP’ing “American Morning” and “Newsnight.” after leaving CNN he joined CNBC where he oversaw Burnett’s afternoon show, “Street Signs.”

“Who wouldn’t jump at an opportunity to create a brand new program with an exciting and globally respected journalist like Erin on the world’s greatest news platforms? It’s simply a dream job,” said Surratt in a press release.

“I am thrilled to be reunited with Wil, whose talent and drive are legendary and inspiring,” says Burnett, who left CNBC for CNN last month. “We are ready to create an exciting new program together.”

No launch date or time period has been announced. However CNN’s afternoon hours are in for a shakeup. As we reported last week, Ali Velshi is moving to the early mornings to anchor a 5am newscast, leaving the 1-3pmET hours open.

Release after the jump…

CNN’s executive vice president Ken Jautz announced today that Wilson Surratt will rejoin the network as executive producer of its upcoming weekday general news program with Erin Burnett. Surratt’s appointment is effective immediately and will be based in New York.

“Wil has spent 17 years in newsrooms, control rooms and in the field and he is one of the most inventive and accomplished producers in the television news business,” said Jautz. “We are delighted that he is returning to the CNN family.”

Since 2009, Surratt has been the executive producer of WPIX’s 10 p.m. newscast in New York. Before that, he worked with Burnett on Street Signs at CNBC, where he also oversaw The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. From 2002-2006, Surratt worked at CNN as executive producer of American Morning and NewsNight with Aaron Brown.

“Who wouldn’t jump at an opportunity to create a brand new program with an exciting and globally respected journalist like Erin on the world’s greatest news platforms? It’s simply a dream job,” said Surratt.

Said Burnett, “I am thrilled to be reunited with Wil, whose talent and drive are legendary and inspiring. We are ready to create an exciting new program together.”

While at CNN, Surratt was a producer during the Katrina disaster coverage for which the network won a distinguished Peabody Award. CNN and its executive producers also won the DuPont-Columbia award for coverage of the South Asia Tsunami disaster. He also directed American Morning’s coverage of the 2004 presidential election and the network’s coverage of the second Gulf War which included the fall of Baghdad in April, 2003.

He created and served as the executive producer for the Emmy award-winning WB11 Morning News for WPIX in 2000. Before coming to New York, Surratt was in Los Angeles at KTLA-TV, where he worked as a senior producer for several shows, including the KTLA Morning News, News at Ten and the station’s entertainment and variety talk show, The Live Show. He began his television career at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., where he got started as a production assistant and was promoted to writer and producer.

He founded South of Broad Productions, producing content for cable, broadband and international networks. He sold a broadband webisode entitled Bailout, produced a pilot for MY Entertainment/SPIKE, developed a political strip show for RTTV and served as a news consultant on a book with Kiernan Ventures.

Surratt earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University where he majored in English and religion and also holds a master’s degree in television from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993, Surratt lived in Los Angeles as a fellow at the American Film Institute. He currently lives in the New York City area with his wife Jodi, and their two daughters, Katie and Brooke.

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