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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 24, 2010

Top TV Network Executives Leaving Posts

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Web Editor

There were major personnel changes this week in network news — NBC’s Jeff Zucker and CNN’s Jonathan Klein – are both leaving their respective jobs, according to reports from Fishbowl DC.

According to the report, Zucker informed his staff Friday that he was leaving while Klein was let go earlier this week.

The New York Times reported that Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal, will step down upon the completion of the takeover of NBC by Comcast (News - Alert).

Meanwhile, Ken Jautz, who heads HLN, will step in to Klein’s post, according to Fishbowl DC.

According to The Times story, Klein was fired earlier this week by his boss Jim Walton, the president of CNN Worldwide. In a telephone interview with The Times, Klein said Walton “told me they wanted to restructure things this way, and thank you very much, and good luck.”

Klein was president of CNN/U.S., responsible for management oversight of all programming, editorial tone and strategic direction of the network.

In another New York Times article about Zucker, it was reported that “In an interview at NBC’s executive offices, Mr. Zucker, who is 45, said the decision to leave the only employer he has ever worked for — a decision that he acknowledged was not his own choice — became inevitable after a meeting two weeks ago with Steve Burke, Comcast’s chief.”

TVNewser published a copy of the memo Zucker distributed to his staff.

“When Comcast assumes control of NBC Universal (News - Alert), I will leave the company,” Zucker wrote. “It has not been an easy or simple decision. I have spent my entire adult life here, more than 24 years. This is the only place I have ever worked. The only professional thing I have ever known.”

“Now, it is clear to me that this is the right decision for me and for the company. Comcast will be a great new steward, just as GE has been, and they deserve the chance to implement their own vision,” he added. “I am proud that they will inherit a company in very good shape, with almost every one of our divisions enjoying their best year ever. The current strength of the company is a tribute to every one of you and the terrific leadership team that is in place.”

Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for TMCnet's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi